Legally Evict Your Adult Child in Colorado

Kayla Banzali
By: Kayla Banzali
PublishedNov 30, 2022
4 minute read

You’re a good parent or at least you’ve tried to be. When your adult child needed a place to stay, you opened your door. You set aside your own comfort, only to watch your grown kid become lazy, inconsiderate, and more comfortable at your expense. You never wanted to kick out your own child, but now you’re considering it. Here’s what you should know about how to evict your adult child in Colorado.

Bottom Line: 

Colorado law is clear that you can legally evict an adult child living in your home regardless if you ever required them to pay rent.  

In this Article:

More Young Adults are Moving Back Home

Getting one’s own place in Colorado is expensive. It can be prohibitively so for those lacking stable financial resources. This is why many adults either return to their parents’ nest after a setback or never leave in the first place.

One in five young adults (18 to 35) in Colorado moved back in with their parents in 2021, according to a survey by Denver TV station KDVR. 

Determining Tenancy

In Colorado, anyone who stays overnight with the permission of the homeowner could be considered a tenant. This can be established even if the stay only lasts a couple of days. 

Colorado has its own way of determining whether a person staying in your home is a trespasser or tenant. It is important to understand these distinctions before you evict your adult child.

  • A trespasser/squatter enters or remains on property they do not own without the consent of the owner. This can include your adult child if they have stayed in your home when you do not intend for them to stay longer than a quick visit.
  • A tenant lives on property they do not own but with the owner’s consent. A tenancy can be established by a written or verbal agreement with the homeowner or after remaining in the home for one or two nights. A tenancy at will is a tenancy without a predetermined duration for the tenancy. Either party can terminate this tenancy at any time.
Evicting an Adult Child Trespasser 

If your adult child is not a tenant and refuses your requests to leave the home, then he or she is a trespasser. Theoretically, you could call the police and have your adult child forcibly removed from your home.  

Realistically, you might not get the help you’re looking for since police officers are often reluctant to get involved in this kind of situation unless there’s something illegal going on or someone’s in harm’s way. Why? Police do not want to aid in “self-help eviction.”

Self-Help Eviction 

A self-help eviction occurs when a landlord or homeowner attempts to kick out a roommate tenant, romantic partner, or family member by barring their access to the home – or dumping the tenant’s possessions out on the sidewalk. This is illegal. Don’t do it.

Instead, it’s best to treat adult child evictions as tenant evictions. The process takes a little longer, but the procedure is clearly defined, and it will result in your troublesome adult child leaving your property one way or another.

How to Evict an Adult Child Who is a Tenant

An adult child living at home with their parents is considered a ‘tenant’ by Colorado law, even if they do not pay rent. Most parents allow an adult child to move back home – rent free – to help them overcome personal or financial setbacks. 

Some parents require their adult children to pay some rent once they move back into the home, but doing so does have its downside. While having your adult child pay some rent makes you less vulnerable to being taken for granted, it establishes a longer-term tenancy, and that will make eviction take longer and possibly cost you more money. 

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to begin legally getting your adult kid out of your house.  

Step One: Give Them Enough Notice

The eviction process must begin with you serving your child (the tenant) advance written notice asking them to leave. This is called a Notice to Quit. You should give them at least 21 days to move out, or no sooner than the end of the next business month, in most situations. In the case of an at-will tenancy, you need only give three days’ notice.

You also should list specific reasons for why you want your child out, whether it’s failure to pay rent or securing a place of their own by an established deadline. The reason could even be that the child simply wore out their welcome with inconsiderate or defiant behavior.

Make two copies of the written notice. Give one to your child (tenant) and keep the other for your records.

Step Two: Don’t Take Any More Rent

If your child tenant was paying rent, stop collecting rent money after the tenancy expires, which is the date posted on the Notice to Quit. This removes any legal defenses against the eviction. 

Step Three: File a Complaint in Court

You gave your adult child 21 days to move out of your house. Three weeks have passed, and they’re still there, daring you to go through with the eviction. Now you must file a complaint with the local county court. An eviction attorney can help you form a rock-solid complaint, or you can download the form online. 

The complaint sets a firm deadline when your kid must vacate your house or face forced removal by court order. 

Step Four: Get a Removal Order 

By this point, you’ve given your adult child every notice, warning, and opportunity to move out on their own. If they remain defiant, you can go to court and explain why your adult child should be removed from your property. 

At that hearing, you’ll provide the court with copies of all notices and other related paperwork to demonstrate you followed the legal process.

The court will then grant a Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) order, which empowers law enforcement to show up at your home and remove the adult child from your property. 

Asking Nicely is Still an Option

You’ve probably already tried this. But before you take legal action, you may want to try once more.  A mutual agreement for your adult child to move out is preferable to initiating eviction proceedings that could do long-lasting harm to the relationship you have with your adult child.

Then again, if the current situation only causes you and your adult child to resent each other more each day, getting them out of your house sooner rather than later is probably the best. 

We Can Help With Your Adult Child Eviction

If you’re a Colorado parent having trouble getting your adult child to leave your home, our Evictions & Landlord Attorneys can help. Our experienced team has handled many cases like yours and can surely help you. Call 303-688-0944 to begin your case assessment.

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