Housing Legal Glossary

Commonly used housing legal terms and definitions.

  • A Notice to Quit is a notice given to a tenant by a landlord indicating the landlord's choice to end the lease contract and the tenant's occupancy. This is typically done to correspond with the end of a current lease term and may require a notice period of 1 to 60 days depending on the type of term.  Some notices to quit must also state good cause for terminating the lease while some leases are able to be terminated at their end for no reason.
  • An eviction notice, or a Demand for Compliance or Possession, is a notice given by a landlord to a tenant who has violated lease terms. This document will have information about what the tenant must do to cure the alleged violation to avoid the landlord proceeding with filing in court.  This document is the legal precursor to a summons & complaint, the first step in the court process towards legal eviction.
  • A Notice of Substantial or Repeat Violation is a notice given by a landlord to a tenant who has committed a more serious violation of the lease or a repeat violation of the lease.  This notice terminates the lease 3 days later and does not provide the tenant an opportunity to cure.  
  • The Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction ("Summons and Complaint" or "S&C") is a court filing that starts the process of legal eviction, known in Colorado as Forcible Entry and Detainer. It establishes why the court has jurisdiction on the case, outlines the lease contract violations and landlord's claims against the tenant. Additionally, the S&C will include a scheduled court date and time. In Colorado, a packet of information on how to file an Answer and accessing legal aid must be included with the S&C.
  • The Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure (or "Answer") is the tenant (defendant's) response to the Complaint from the landlord (plaintiff). The Answer is due on the court date listed on the Complaint, and a filing fee may be charged to the tenant. (The tenant can request a waiver for the fee.) The Court cannot enter a default Writ of Restitution before the close of business on the date listed on the Complaint. By law the Court is required to set a trial date no sooner than 7 and no later than 10 days from the date the Answer is filed. This can be delayed for good cause or by the parties' request. During this time the landlord and tenant are required to provide any additional documentation that either party requests by filing a Request for Documents with the court.
  • A Stipulation is an agreement between parties in a legal dispute.
  • A Writ of Restitution ("Writ") is issued after the court enters a judgment for possession. It is what allows the sheriff or a police officer to physically evict the renter out of a property. The Writ cannot be issued by the court until 48 hours after judgment has been issued. The Sheriff cannot execute the Writ until at least 10 days after the entry of judgment.