DENVER — The high cost of living and hot real estate market in Colorado are resulting in evictions happening frequently.
According to new data compiled by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, 8,000 eviction notices were handed out last year in Denver.
Over 36,000 were handed out across the state.
The average cost of unpaid rent was around $250.
The lowest? Someone actually filed an eviction for $4.
“8,000 in Denver was surprising,” Jack Regenbogen, who helped author the report said.
The report is called Facing Eviction Alone.
Regenbogen, along with his co-author Aubrey Hasvold, said it’s not necessarily affluent buildings where evictions are being served but rather working class neighborhoods where landlords are capitalizing on the real estate market.
“Right now rents are rising rapidly, gentrification is really in the spotlight,” Hasvold said.
So what should you do when facing eviction?
Problem Solvers tip #1: Act fast and respond to eviction notice
In Colorado you may only have a few days to file a proper response. Most in Denver however don’t respond to their notices.
“It just gives them time to say this is why I may have been late with my rent,” Hasvold said.
Problem Solvers tip #2: Hire an attorney
According to the report, around one percent of people actually hire an attorney when facing an eviction. It’s a big mistake not to hire one because having one almost always ensures you can stay in your home.
“In public housing cases, 80 percent of the tenants who had representation were able to remain housed — in the private sector it was even higher,” Regenbogen said.
Problem Solvers tip #3: Show up to court
Even if you can’t afford an attorney NOT showing up almost always means you lose.
Scott Parks, a Denver resident who was evicted in the last several years, says the record of being evicted sadly follows you everywhere you go.
“It’s tough to find another landlord that will rent to you,” Parks said.