2024 Squatters Rights in Colorado You Must Need to Know

Have you come across an unexpected guest setting up camp on your property in Colorado? Squatting is a significant concern for property owners. Before taking any drastic measures, it is crucial to become acquainted with Squatters Rights in Colorado.

Get ready to become an expert on squatting laws in Colorado. We’ve got all the information you need to swiftly and lawfully remove squatters from your property, as well as tips for keeping unwanted occupants out in the future.

Who Are Squatters?

An individual who occupies a building or land without permission or legal right is commonly referred to as a squatter. They could be found in various locations, such as an abandoned house, a vacant lot, or a property they shouldn’t trespass on. People in Colorado engage in squatting for a variety of reasons, ranging from seeking affordable housing to making a political statement.

Individuals who possess legal authorization to be on the property are not considered squatters. This encompasses homeowners, tenants with a lease (even if they stay beyond their agreed-upon period – known as holdover tenants), and invited guests. In a similar vein, individuals who trespass are not considered squatters. Their presence is usually temporary and they may have entered the premises unlawfully.

Why Do Squatters Have Rights?

Adverse possession, also known as “squatter’s rights,” originated from British property law as a means of establishing clear land boundaries. These rights emerged in the USA as a result of the rapid expansion of cities and towns, driven by a growing need for affordable housing. Individuals are empowered to take possession of vacant or neglected property and potentially establish ownership rights after a specific period of time, provided they meet the necessary legal requirements. This approach ensures that every inch of space is maximized and prevents property owners from neglecting or allowing assets to deteriorate.

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Squatters Rights in Colorado

Colorado does not have a concept of “squatter’s rights” in the traditional sense. Instead, it adheres to the legal concept of adverse possession. In certain cases, individuals who have been residing on a property without permission may have the opportunity to claim ownership. However, it is important to note that there are specific criteria that must be met in order for this to occur.

  • Duration: In order to establish legal occupancy, the individual must openly and consistently reside on the property for a period of at least 18 years.
  • Restriction: It cannot be shared with others, such as roommates.
  • Transparency: It should be clear to all, including the owner, that the space is being occupied.
  • Possible Disagreement: It seems that their presence may not align with the owner’s desires.

If the squatter meets certain criteria, there is a more expedited process for claiming ownership:

In legal terms, “color of title” refers to a claim of property ownership that is based on a written instrument or legal judgment that seems to convey title, but is actually invalid or defective. This information serves as a foundation for obtaining ownership through adverse possession, as the possessor genuinely believes they have a valid claim. In essence, it refers to a situation where something looks like it belongs to someone, but it doesn’t have the full legal rights of actual ownership.

Property Tax Payments: Over the course of seven years, they have consistently fulfilled their obligation to pay property taxes.

How Do You Remove Squatters from Your Colorado Property?

Thankfully, Colorado has implemented efficient squatting laws that make it easier to remove squatters, thanks to the passage of Bill SB 18-015 in 2018. In situations where the squatters do not possess any legal right to be on the property, it is possible to circumvent the usual eviction process. Sign a document acknowledging their presence on the property without your consent. Law enforcement has the authority to remove them within 24 hours.

However, this only applies if the squatters do not have any legal justification for being there, such as a faulty ownership document (“color of title”) or another legitimate claim. When faced with uncertainty, seeking guidance from a lawyer is advisable to ensure compliance with the appropriate legal procedures for removal.

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