Denver Property Management Questions – Should We Charge a Pet Deposit?

As a landlord there are many things that you have to think about when renting your property. One of them is will you allow your tenants to have pets? That then leads to what kinds of pets and will you charge a pet deposit? The answer should be yes, if you are allowing pets, charge a pet deposit or pet fee.

Property Management Questions - Should We Charge a Pet Deposit?Most states, including Colorado, have no laws that prohibit a landlord from charging a pet deposit or pet fee. The only restriction in the law is under the Fair Housing Act. Under this act, if the pet is a service animal, a pet deposit may not be charged. You can ask for documentation verifying that the animal is, in fact, a service animal, and there are certain exemptions. Check with your attorney if this situation comes up. The fee or deposit can be non-refundable. Since there is no specific state law, what you charge is completely up to you, and can differ depending on the type of animal, number of them you allow and their size.

You need to be sure you tell the tenant that it is a non-refundable deposit, and put the amount, status and reason for it in the lease. Also, have the tenant describe the animal it covers, in writing as well. Also, be careful with what you determine is human and pet damage at the end of the lease. It could get you into hot water if you withhold the security deposit for something that is obviously pet damage.

So why have a pet deposit? Well, animals can, and often do, cause damage to properties. Dog nails can scratch hard wood floors. Both cats and dogs can leave smelly “accidents” that are quite difficult to remove from building materials. People who have very large aquariums can cause water damage to floors and walls. Any kind of pet can be destructive, so when determining the amount of the fee/deposit, find out what kind of pet they will have and what kind of damage it may cause. Then figure an amount that will offset the cost of fixing the damage.

People love their pets and most pet owners are responsible and take good care to be sure that their pets won’t damage your property. The deposit is a “better safe than sorry” move that will save you money in the long run!

If you would like to find out more about any Denver Property Management questions you might have, give us a call today! 303-452-5853

How The Eviction Process Works In Colorado

If you own or are considering investing in Colorado real estate, you NEED to know how the eviction process works in Colorado!

How the eviction process works in colorado

One of the least popular aspects of owning rental property is having to evict tenants. There are some pretty severe penalties if you do it incorrectly so having a strong process in place is VITAL!

That having been said, evictions are fairly simple in CO. The key is to having certain elements in place:

  • documents that are correct
  • proper notice
  • paper trail
  • great law firm

All of these elements need to be in play to accomplish a successful Colorado eviction, BUT the real answer to how to avoid evictions is vetting your tenants correctly in the first place. Just remember, even with the best tenants bad things can happen in their lives that may force you to evict them.

Timelines for CO evictions: the process, from start to finish, can be as little as 23 days as long as 35 days (time during which you are unlikely to be collecting rent).

Documentation: your lease needs to be Colorado friendly, meaning that it has had to stand up in court and that the judge not find things that were unfair to the tenant. Some example of things that can trip you up in the eviction process are aggressive fees, high late fees, partial rents accepted, among other myriad variables.

If you are not fluent in the finding and evicting of tenants (as well as all the maintenance issues that go along with owning Colorado rental properties), the best solution may be to hire a Colorado Property Management company like Denver Realty and Rentals. Because of economies of scale, a property manager SHOULD have all of these elements in place which will make owning your rentals a pleasure.

If you are not currently working with a property management company and have questions about how the eviction process works in Colorado, please give us a call today! 303-452-5853