Tenant not paying utilities - Colorado

7 Replies

Long story short, I purchased a condo about a month ago in Lakewood, CO and there were already tenants in there. They have a lease through February of next year. Just got a call last week that they are now having a bed bug issue (not surprised after visiting the unit and seeing how filthy everything is). I also found out that in the 2 bedroom unit there is another couple with a baby that has been staying there for a while now. The original lease just lists the tenant and her boyfriend. Now it looks like there are 5-6 people living in the unit. Just received a call yesterday that the washer is now broken ( I'm thinking that with an extra 3-4 people using it, of course it would break faster.)

I called to get an exterminator out there at a cost of $900. From research, I believe that Colorado does not have laws to say exactly who is responsible for bed bug issues. Now I just received another call form her "friend" that is asking if he and his girlfriend can move in there and be put on the lease as well. Apparently, the couple with the baby are moving out later this month. (I was going to give a notice to cure anyway for that issue). The reason the friend wants to move in is to help pay the utilities since, I just found out, the tenant has not been paying and the utilities are now set to be shut off tomorrow. The power company will not let the friend pay since he is not on the lease. 

By this point, I am planning on evicting and have been researching exactly how to go about that process. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Get this people, take legal issues to an eviction attorney in your area. 

@Seth Todd since this is your first rodeo. Hire a pro and be ready to shell out the $. 

I recommend www.thslawfirm.com/. They are doing one for me now. Since your issue is more complicated than a simple non-payment of rent and you don't have any experience, I would recommend them or another attorney specializing in landlord/tenant law.

Really it's going to come down to the lease that you have with them. You should get that out and read it carefully and then read it again. Know what it requires them to do and what it does not. Know what it requires you to do as well. Some leases have clauses requiring tenants to keep the utilities on. Some don't and if yours doesn't then it'll be hard to do anything if they stay and simply pay rent. The attorney can advise you on that. 

Please be aware it will not be a fast process but you start as soon as possible. 

Know this, by hiring an attorney you will save money over doing it yourself. You can get to the very last day and have to start all over. Lost rent will be much more expensive than jumping on the slow moving attorney wagon. 

BTW paying $900 for bedbug treatment is a rip off unless they used heat treatment. Unless the tenants fully cooperated the treatment was a waste as well. If your property is in the City and County of Denver then the local law requires the landlord to treat for bedbugs. I'm not sure if Lakewood has any such law.

You made a great step by jumping on here and asking some questions. That is most certainly a step in the right direction. The main thing to keep in mind is that landlord tenant laws are very state specific with local municipal laws layered on to so be careful about what advise you take from posts and such.

The basic principal to follow is that the Landlord is in charge and the tenant is not. Based on what you have said, you are teetering on the edge. Regain control of your property which is what is sounds like you are trying to do. 

Medium rre 1to1 small sizeBill S., Reliant Real Estate, Inc. | 720 207‑8190

Your tenants have seriously violated the lease, presuming it is a decent lease. Just evict and save yourself. 

Originally posted by @Seth Todd :

... The power company will not let the friend pay since he is not on the lease. 

...

I find that a bit hard to believe. Do you mean to say that if I walked in to the utility company with cash or certified check and the bill / account number, that the utility company won't take that money and apply it to the account?

@Bill S. suggested the right firm. They will get this done for you. Don't waste your money on the bed bug treatment use that for the eviction and if needed get service after the unit is vacant. Don't add anyone to the lease you have some professional tenants on your hands. The utility company will take money from anyone. Often times tenants try to add people to leases or change the name on the lease because the Xcel follows the individual not property. 

Please do yourself a favor and get set up with the eviction attorney, this problem is not going to work itself out. 

Medium pinefinancialgrouplogoTravis Sperr, Pine Financial Group | [email protected] | 303‑835‑4445 | http://www.pinefinancialgroup.com

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :
Originally posted by @Seth Todd:

... The power company will not let the friend pay since he is not on the lease. 

...

I find that a bit hard to believe. Do you mean to say that if I walked in to the utility company with cash or certified check and the bill / account number, that the utility company won't take that money and apply it to the account?

 Sorry for not clarifying. I am sure that the power co would love for him to pay the bill. I think what they're trying to do is stick it to the utility company by her not paying and then set up a new account with him as the new tenant..which isn't going to happen. Thanks for the post.