2023 saw over 13,000 eviction filings in Denver alone.
During the pandemic, the eviction moratorium effectively put a stop to evictions of all kinds. Now that numbers are going back up, there's plenty of backlash from anti-poverty groups who wish to continue the moratorium. For Denver landlords, lease enforcement is a tricky issue.
Today, we're going to give Denver property owners a short guide to lease enforcement. When you have a delinquent tenant, you should be able to do something about it. Keep reading and learn the steps you need to take to enforce your lease agreement and keep your property safe.
Understand Colorado's Laws
Whenever you run into issues with a tenant, it's wrong to assume you've got all the power as a landlord. It might be tempting to take matters into your own hands and change the locks on a delinquent tenant, but that will land you in serious trouble.
You need to verse yourself in Colorado's Fair Housing Act so you understand tenant rights. If you keep everything above board, you can follow due process to enforce your lease in whatever way you see fit.
Clarity in Your Lease Agreement
One of the best ways to approach lease enforcement is to nip any problems in the bud with a thorough and clear lease agreement. You can run into a lot of issues when there's ambiguity in the lease that a bad tenant can exploit.
There are plenty of lease templates online that keep the verbiage clear and simple. You can take one of these and customize it for your specific tenant so that they understand the rules of your property.
Evictions and Notices
With a clearly worded lease, you can easily point to it when a tenant does something wrong. If you outline every scenario and the consequences, you have a roadmap for how to deal with delinquent tenants.
That said, it's always good practice to try and keep a positive line of communication with a tenant. If they break the lease agreement, treat it like an honest mistake and let them know not to do it again.
When your tenant willingly breaks the lease, you may need to take more intensive steps. Lease violations are served with a written notice to evict. For breaking the lease, you send a 10-day cure or quit notice that gives the tenant 10 days to fix the issue or leave the premises.
Again, it's important to follow Colorado law when sending an eviction notice. Going outside of the law will result in severe penalties and it'll draw the eviction out even longer.
The Role of Property Management in Lease Enforcement
Lease enforcement is the bane of many Denver landlords' existence. If you have a problem tenant who routinely breaks the lease, hiring a property manager to help deal with them is the right move.
PMI Aspire is one of Denver's top property managers, offering comprehensive services that include tenant screening and eviction protection. To learn more about what we do and how we make your life as a landlord easier, contact us today.