Tips on renting in Summit County |

Tips on renting in Summit County

If you’ve just moved to the area from a more normally priced region of the country, you will notice that rentals in Summit can easily decimate whatever meager income you manage to generate as a lift operator or waiter.

What’s worse, if you walk into the rental world in Summit without knowing a few of the ground rules, you easily can end up using all of your savings for a security deposit – and find yourself locked into a year-long lease at a place you’ve outgrown in just a few months.

Housing deals largely depend on the good graces of the landlord you manage to contact. In general, expect to provide the first month’s rent plus damage deposit, although some landlords (especially those who’ve been burned by tenants in the past) might also ask for a second security deposit, as much as an entire month’s rent. There are two schools of thought on the concept of signing a lease. While they provide a level of security in your rental (and clearly outline what you can expect as a tenant, and what a landlord can expect from you), visitors who don’t plan to be in the county for an entire calendar year can find themselves locked into housing well past the end of the ski season – and if you plan to head back to Australia or Alabama in May, you might instead want to opt for a month-to-month rental agreement.

As Gordon Ferris, director of the Summit County Housing Authority, explained, a lease is your only legal recourse in securing rights, especially if you hope ever to see that damage deposit money again.

“It all comes down to a written lease in order to expect money back at the end of the term,” Ferris said. Leases also help clarify what money will be held for cleaning costs at the end of the term, as well as explaining how utilities will be split, who’s responsible for shoveling snow and what might happen if the pipes burst or if your friend’s dog accidentally destroys the house while you’re off riding the half-pipe. If you run into housing problems, Ferris and his department are available as resources on Colorado housing laws: call (970) 453-3555.

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