What happened in my eviction lawsuit?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Fort Collins, CO

I went to court to get my tenants evicted for non-payment of rent. The tenant used my lease (rent due on the 22nd of each mo) without the amendment, in which I changed the lease and prorated the rent to the 1st. He has been apying on the 1st for 11 months. He said in his answer he paid his rent and it wasn't due until the 22nd (original lease) and I was always harassing them for rent. I haven't been paid since July 1st. The judge wanted to set the case for trial. What happened!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James C Underhill Jr.

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . In Colorado unless one party defaults (or admits liability in open court) on the first appearance, the court has to set the matter for trial. The first hearing on an FED is not a trial, and the court doesn't take evidence. Here the tenant has a rational story, and even if you have other documents there is a factual dispute as to what and when the rent is owed. You should set the trial, and then come to trial with your documents, including copies of the cancelled checks received.

    In this economy, however, you must understand that judges are loath to evict tenants unless the tenant is really behind and just won't or can't bring the rent up. Here it sounds like you are disputing over one months' rent. In an FED (Forcible Entry and Detainer action, which is the legal term for an eviction) you also have to remember that all the client has to do to stay in the house is show up at trial and pay you what you claim is late. The tenant always has the right to cure a non-monetary default.

    Also in this economy, a tenant is a tenant. There are lots of landlords looking for tenants, so perhaps contacting your city or county mediation service (they run the program to help citizens in the community resolve disputes) could iron out the issues and allow you to keep a paying tenant.

    Some attorneys sell unbundled legal services where you pay for just what you need and can afford. For example, some attorneys will give you an hour or two at a set price to review your issue and give you advice based on the law, prepare letters for you to sign, or sell the paperwork for the court filings; then you can proceed on your own, but knowing that your paperwork is correct.

    Good luck. jim
    www.NeighborhoodLawOffice.com

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  2. Philip M. Block

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . You tell me? Were you there? Did you enter the signed amendment as an exhibit with the lease? The judge seems to be declaring that there is a legitimate issue of dispute. That is why a trial is necessary. I urge you to get legal assistance.

    Remember the issue in an eviction is possession of the unit, not the amount owed. the date of payment is the issue as well as whether the rent was paid. You should file a separate suit for what they owe you and any damages.

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