Denver landlord dealing with squatter nightmare, authorities say they can’t act immediately

Problem Solvers
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DENVER -- Sarah Feldman doesn’t know what else she can do. After a previous tenant broke his lease at the Hampden Court condominium that she owns, she checked on the condo expecting it to be clean and the keys left on the counter as she instructed.

But what she found would turn into a month-long headache for Feldman, forcing her to question the systems in place to protect her rights as a landlord.

“I went to the condo and I found this woman and two other guys that I did not know,” Feldman said.

According to Feldman, the squatter claims she made an arrangement with the previous tenant, but Feldman is receiving no money and never agreed to it. Feldman has tried to kick the woman out for a month but has had no luck.

“I’m just upset and I want everyone to know the severity of this situation, that there is a woman that I do not know in my condo not paying me rent,” Feldman said.

Feldman says she called Denver police, having officers come to her condo several times, but ultimately told her it’s a civil issue.

Now, there’s trash piling up on the outside of the condo, getting Feldman in trouble with the HOA, and she has pictures of a mess inside the condo, with cigarette butts and pulled-out smoke alarms.

Feldman has hired an attorney, obtaining a court order to have the squatter evicted. She paid $150 to obtain a writ for the Denver Sheriff’s Department to evict the squatter, but the department has a significant backlog of such requests.

A spokesperson for the Denver Sheriff’s Department tells the Problem Solvers they received 15 of the requests on Tuesday alone and it can take roughly two weeks to process them.

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