Unlawful removal or exclusion
(1)It is unlawful for a landlord to remove or exclude a tenant from a dwelling unit without resorting to court process, unless the removal or exclusion is consistent with article 18.5 of title 25 and the rules promulgated by the state board of health for the cleanup of an illegal drug laboratory; is with the mutual consent of the landlord and tenant; or unless the dwelling unit has been abandoned by the tenant, as evidenced by the return of keys, the substantial removal of the tenant’s personal property, notice by the tenant, or the extended absence of the tenant while rent remains unpaid, any of which would cause a reasonable person to believe the tenant had permanently surrendered possession of the dwelling unit. Unlawful removal or exclusion includes the willful termination of utilities or the willful removal of doors, windows, or locks to the premises other than as required for repair or maintenance. If the landlord willfully and unlawfully removes the tenant from the premises or willfully and unlawfully causes the termination of heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas, or other essential services, the tenant may seek any remedy available under the law, including this part 5.
(2)A tenant affected by any violation of this section may bring a civil action to restrain further violations and to recover damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees. In the case of a violation, the tenant must be awarded statutory damages equal to the tenant’s actual damages and the higher amount of either three times the monthly rent or five thousand dollars, as well as any other damages, attorney fees, and costs that may be owed.
(3)A court may also order that possession be restored to a tenant who was affected by a violation of this section.
Section 38-12-510 — Unlawful removal or exclusion,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-38.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).