a desirable part of town (especially if you
have pets). Competition among renters is
high, and prices continue to rise. When
you’ve found the perfect apartment, you’ll
want to increase your changes of securing it
before someone else beats you to it! It can be
a good idea to bring all of the information
you need to fill out an application on site,
as well as a security deposit check to put
down if you decide you really want a unit.
Be advised that if you try to haggle over
prices, you might be less than successful.
Make sure to understand the area’s housing
regulations, renter’s insurance options and
your rights as a tenant—before your hunt
for the perfect apartment even starts.
Renter’s Insurance: The state of Colorado
encourages (but does not require) tenants
to buy renter’s insurance to protect their
personal belongings against losses caused
by fire, theft or vandalism. The cost varies
depending on the value of your personal
possessions, but is relatively low. Compare
rates before you commit to buying a
specific type of insurance. Create a list of
what you own and each item’s value. You’ll
be thankful you bought renter’s insurance if
the unthinkable happens and you are faced
with loss of your possessions. This is espe-
cially important in apartment complexes,
where events like fires or floods are often
caused by people in neighboring units but
may affect your home.
Tenant Rights in Colorado: All renters in
Colorado have certain rights as a tenant,
designed to protect you from unfair actions
by your landlord. The Federal Fair Housing
Act protects against discrimination in the
areas of race, color, national origin, sex,
disability, religion and familial status.
State law prohibits discrimination based on
If your landlord fails to make important
repairs, like a broken heater, Colorado
law allows tenants to withhold rent. Colorado laws also regulate the ability of your
landlord to raise rent and factors such as
how long they have to return your security
deposit after you move out (usually 60 days).
The best way to make sure your tenant rights
are being protected is to make sure you
understand those rights and ask potential
landlords a lot of questions. It’s essential you
do this before moving in or signing a lease.
It might seem tempting to skip over the small
print of a lease when the unit looks perfect
at first—but don’t. Read the lease carefully
for any clauses that might cause concern,
such as the landlord’s ability to enter your
apartment, evictions, or landlord’s lien (a
landlord’s right to seize some of your property as collateral until you pay back rent).
It’s also important to make sure you understand any renter’s insurance requirements or
additional pet owner responsibilities if you
have or want a pet. Check to see if your city
or county has its own tenant rights laws as
well—oftentimes, they do.
Moving to metro Denver and renting an
apartment is exciting. But it can also be
a stressful time, as you confront multiple
changes in your life. It’s essential to stay
calm and make sure that you know the
details of any living arrangement you
find yourself agreeing to. Keeping all that
in mind, don’t forget the most important
thing—enjoy your new home in the Rocky
1. Be prepared. If certain rental properties are in high demand and are selective
in renting or leasing to applicants, you will gain a competitive edge by having the
following information with you: a completed rental application; written references
from landlords, employers, friends and/or colleagues; and a current copy of your
5 TENANT TIPS What you should know
3. Carefully review all the important conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental
agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable, such as restrictions on guests or pets, design alterations
or running a home business.
4. To avoid misunderstandings, keep copies of any
correspondence with the landlord and follow up any oral
agreements with a letter, outlining your understanding. For
example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put your
request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If he or she
agrees orally, send a letter confirming this fact.
2. Purchase renters’
insurance to cover your
valuables. Your landlord’s
insurance policy will not
cover your losses.
5. Learn whether the building and neighborhood
you are considering are safe. Get copies of any
state or local laws that require safety devices such as
deadbolts and window locks; check out the property’s
vulnerability to intrusion by a criminal, and learn
whether criminal incidents have already occurred.