What Is The Difference Between Squatting and Trespassing?
If a person is living in a home without expressed consent from the owner of the property, then their status of “squatter” and “trespasser” hinges on how they obtained access to the property in the first place.
If the person used force to gain entry to the home, then they are considered as a “trespasser”, and if they gained entry by other means then they are considered a “squatter”.
Trespassing is a crime, and calling your local sheriff’s office is probably your best bet when dealing with this particular situation. If the local law enforcement team deems the person is trespassing, then they will be removed or arrested immediately on the premises.
(The number one thing that you must not do is to leave the property unoccupied for an extended period of time, as this will attract squatters and trespassers alike)
You may also be interested in our other article detailing how to sell a rental property in Colorado.
What Rights Do Squatters Have?
Evicting Squatters Colorado…
If you have a squatter who is staying at your property without consent:
- Colorado requires that you provide the squatter with at least a 3 day written notice, and once you have given them notice you may file an unlawful detainer to evict them through a standard court order.
- If the individual refuses to vacate the premises within 3 days, you may file the unlawful detainer with your local court office. At this stage in the process, you may want to seek legal counsel to ensure that you are operating within the boundaries and guidelines of your state and local laws. You can usually download an unlawful detainer form from the court web site, then all you have to do is fill it out and file it at your local office.
- Ensure that you are serving your squatters/trespassers with the required paperwork such as proof of service, and any other relevant documents that pertain to their current living situation.
- Your local court will schedule a hearing that all parties must show up to, and you can present your case, and they will make a ruling based on the evidence provided to the courts.
- Once the squatter has been served and has been given the chance to tell their side of the story, a hearing will be conducted which usually doesn’t take longer than 1 hour.
- After the judge makes his ruling, you can then pass that along to the local sheriff, who will post a 5 day written notice to the squatter, and if they don’t leave within that time frame the local police will forcibly remove them and change the locks on the property.
How To Legally Evict A Squatter In Colorado
- Step 1 – Serve them with a Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession Notice or a Notice to Quit
- Step 2 – Allow the squatter the amount of time given to exit the premises
- Step 3 – File a C.R.C.P. Form 1A Summons in Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer R7-12
- Step 4 – File a Complaint in Forcible Entry and Detainer R712 along with your summons from Step 3 and also include a copy of your Demand For Compliance or Notice to Quit from Step 1
Once you file the lawsuit, the case is held, and you win the lawsuit, you can now take that paperwork downtown and recruit the local sheriff to formally evict the squatter.
If you are still confused please read the official INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER (FED)/EVICTION
Please keep in mind there is also a $97 filing fee
Some Things To Think About…
You may also run into scams when dealing with squatters in Colorado, so stay aware of your current surroundings and how people may be poised to take advantage of your property. Some dishonest people may attempt to rent out your property to another tenant, and the person renting the property will have no idea who the actual owner is. Other scams include squatters asking for large cash deposits in order to vacate the premises. They will also often lie and say that they are renting the property from someone else, when in fact they are simply living for free without paying any rent.
Evicting squatters in Colorado can be an extremely challenging, time-consuming process that costs you a lot of money. HBR Colorado is here to help you throughout the entire process, and we are able to make you an all cash offer on your property and help you with evicting these squatters that have no right being there in the first place. Selling your Colorado house As-Is for Cash is the best way to clear the stress of dealing with squatters because then you will no longer have to worry about the property, as we will take over the deed and continue the eviction proceedings under our supervision.
If you want help selling your home fast for cash, and want a free online quote for your property today then please fill out the form below.
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