NewsCovering Colorado


New bill proposes a ban on charging pet rent and pet deposits. Here's how it would work

The new bill would also create a state fund that would reimburse landlords for pet damage instead.
Posted at 5:45 AM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 17:50:23-05

It's not hard to find a Colorado renter who is also a pet owner.

"Having him in the apartment is pretty essential to my day and well-being," Blake Steinmetz said about his dog.

For many renters, to keep their pets with them, they need to pay pet rent along with a pet deposit.

"It's a lot. It's more money to spend. It's kind of annoying especially when your dog just sleeps for 18 hours," said Lauren Webster, who owns a dog.

House Bill 23-1068 was recently introduced by lawmakers to give renters who own pets more rights, including getting rid of pet rents and deposits.

The bill proposes the creation of a $250,000 fund that the state would use to reimburse landlords — up to $1,000 — for any damage a pet does. The reimbursements would be on a first come, first served basis.

According to the bill, after administrative costs, it would be enough money to reimburse 165 landlords the full amount.

"That's not nearly enough money. It isn't going to cover the damage that was done to my property," said Sue Moore with Liberty Scorecard of Colorado.

The organization said they look at bills through the lens of limited government. Moore is also a landlord herself.

"In my experience, the $300, $250 that I charge for a pet deposit doesn't cover the damage a pet does," said Moore, "I had a pet chew through two doors at one of my properties, and pets are pretty hard on lawns."

New bill proposes a ban on charging pet rent and pet deposits

Liberty Scorecard of Colorado opposes HB23-1068. Moore said it's possible the bill could have unintended consequences for all renters.

"Ultimately, I think it'll actually increase the rent. It's going to make housing less affordable in Colorado, because [the proposed bill] is not going to cover the damage that happens to people's property," Moore said.

Pet owners we spoke to say they would like to see some sort of relief for renters who can't live without their furry family members.

"I don't mind that deposit if we get it back, so that part I get to have that," said Webster.

"I think tenants having to pay sometimes huge fees for their pets to live with them is kind of unjust," said Steinmetz.

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