Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in Colorado

I had a friend stay over at my place for a month. We had a verbal agreement that she would provide $300 at the end of the month for her staying here. She is not on the lease. At the end of the month I found her using illegal drugs in my house and asked for her keys. This was 2 days past rent due date and I know for a fact that she has hardly any money due to her addiction. I asked her to give me the key to the apartment. I told her to drop by that night to discuss a payment plan but she failed to show up. I also asked her to please bring the money before returning to retrieve her belongings. It has been a week since then and I found out she got arrested. Today I found out she got bonded out. I do not want her stuff in my house any more and I need that money. Can I text her a notice? If so, for how long before she needs to pay the money? Can I sell her stuff until I get $300 out of it? Is it technically abandoned? I am not a storage unit for her stuff. Legal advice would be appreciated

Asked on 6/09/16, 4:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Stephen Harkess Colorado Legal Solutions

This is not a civil rights question.

You cannot sell her property unless you want to join her in jail. It is not legally abandoned and it does not belong to you. You have no right to keep it from her or to sell it. The safest thing to do would be to file an eviction case and then put the property on the curb after you get an order from the judge. Otherwise, you have to give her a "reasonable" opportunity to get her property before you dispose of it. If a court finds that you were not reasonable enough, then you might have to pay her the value of the property.

Your option to collect the rest is to sue her in small claims court, obtain a judgment, and then garnish her wages if she ever gets a job. You won't get paid anytime soon since she doesn't have the money, but your judgment will be good for several years.

In the future, have your tenants sign a lease and collect rent in advance.

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Answered on 6/09/16, 11:21 pm

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