If someone has taken up residence on your property without your permission, you may be wondering what steps you can take to get them out. While Colorado law does not allow landlords to turn off utilities in an attempt to force squatters to leave the property, there are other steps you can take to get rid of them.
The first step is to try to talk to the squatter and see if they are willing to leave voluntarily. If they are not, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit against them in court. Once the court grants you an eviction order, you can then have the sheriff’s office remove the squatter from your property.
If you are having trouble getting rid of a squatter on your property, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law. They can help you understand your legal options and make sure that the process is done correctly.
Squatter vs Trespasser
It’s important to note that there is a difference between a squatter and a trespasser. A squatter is someone who has taken up residence on your property without your permission, while a trespasser is someone who is simply on your property without permission.
Trespassing is a crime in Colorado, and you can call the police if you catch someone trespassing on your property. However, squatters have some legal protections under Colorado law, so it’s important to take the proper steps to get them off your property.
Signs Of Squatters
If you think someone may be squatting on your property, there are a few signs to look for:
- The person does not have permission from the owner to be on the property.
- The person is not paying rent or any other type of fee to live on the property.
- The person has made some type of physical change to the property, such as putting up a tent or makeshift structure.
- The person has been living on the property for an extended period of time without any indication that they plan to leave soon.
Cons of Having Squatters Living on Your Property
While it may not seem like a big deal to have someone squatting on your property, there are actually a few potential consequences:
- The squatter may damage your property.
- The squatter may disturb your neighbors.
- The squatter may be using utilities without paying for them, which can lead to higher bills for you.
- The squatter may be selling drugs or engaging in other illegal activities on the property, which could get you in trouble with the law.
Can You Turn Off Utilities On a Squatter?
Turning Off Utilities on a squatter in Colorado is not allowed. This is because squatters have some legal protections under Colorado law. If you want to get rid of a squatter, you will need to take additional steps, such as ordering them to leave in writing or filing an eviction lawsuit against them.
It’s important to note that you cannot simply turn off utilities on a squatter or change the locks on the property. This action would be considered an illegal “self-help” eviction, which is when a landlord tries to force a tenant to leave without going through the proper legal channels.
Self-help evictions are not allowed in Colorado, and if you try to do one, you could be sued by the squatter.
Squatters Rights Denver
Squatters in Colorado actually have some legal protections under state law or so-called squatters’ rights. For example, if a squatter has been living on your property for more than 18 days, they may be considered a tenant and entitled to certain rights, such as the right to receive a written notice before being evicted.
Simply asking a squatter to leave or telling them to turn off utilities will not get them to leave the property.
Colorado New Squatter Law
In Colorado, there is a new law that went into effect in 2019 that makes it easier for landlords to get rid of squatters. Under the new law, if a squatter has been living on your property for more than 7 days, you can file an eviction lawsuit against them without first having to give them a written notice to leave.
This means that you no longer have to wait 18 days to take action against a squatter. You can now file an eviction lawsuit as soon as you think someone is squatting on your property.
How To Get Rid of Squatters
1. The first step in the eviction process is to serve the squatter with a written notice to vacate the premises. This notice must be served by a sheriff or constable, and it must give the squatter at least 3 days to leave the property.
2. If the squatter does not leave after receiving the notice, you can then file an eviction lawsuit against them.
3. Once the lawsuit is filed, a hearing will be scheduled where you can present your case to a judge.
4. If the judge decides in your favor, they will issue an order for the squatter to be removed from the property.
5. The sheriff or constable will then serve this order on the squatter, and they will have 24 hours to leave the premises.
6. If the squatter does not leave after receiving the order, they can be removed from the property by force.
How To Prevent Squatters
There are a few things you can do to prevent squatters from moving onto your property in the first place:
- Keep your property well-lit and free of debris.
- Install a fence around the perimeter of your property.
- Put up signs that say “no trespassing” or “private property.”
- Get to know your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity on your property.
- If you see someone on your property who you think maybe a squatter, confront them and ask them to leave.
What To Do With Utilities When House Is Vacant?
If you have a vacant house, it’s important to take steps to secure the property and prevent squatters from moving in. One way to do this is to turn off all utilities to the property. This will make it less attractive to squatters, who are often looking for a place to live for free.
Selling a Vacant House
If you have a vacant house that you’re trying to sell, it’s important to make sure it’s in good condition before putting it on the market. This includes turning off all utilities to the property so that squatters don’t move in and damage the property.
Colorado Cash Buyers is a real estate investment company that buys vacant houses in Colorado. We are cash buyers, so we can close on your property quickly and without any hassle. If you have a vacant house that you’re trying to sell, contact us today!