Column: If we love dogs so much in Colorado, why can’t we rent with them?
January 25, 2017
Living in Colorado offers plenty of perks, from the beautiful backcountry with nature just outside your back door to the wonderful weather and tons of outdoor activities, but if there's one thing that has really dampened my mood since moving here, it's been the inability to find affordable rental houses within 20-30 miles of Glenwood that allow pets.
It confuses — and often angers — me that such wonderful people can live in this state with pets that are harmless and house-trained, yet struggle to find reasonable rental prices that won't take your entire paycheck.
I love living here. I want to stay for as long as I can and really set down roots in this valley because it's a special place, but why is it so hard to find landlords who are OK with pets, namely dogs?
My fiancée, Karlie, and I have three beautiful, loving pups that are harmless, rarely have accidents in the house and don't destroy anything that isn't a chew toy or tug-of-war rope that we buy for them to play with.
Currently, we live in Parachute and commute to work roughly 90 total miles every day. The drive really isn't that bad, but when the weather goes sour we often get nervous for our safety. Such is life in Colorado, though. It's really not as bad as some of the stuff we've seen back home in Pennsylvania or Upstate New York in the winter with a lot more people on the roads and less patience driving into big cities.
Just a few weeks ago a gentleman brought up a great question on a Facebook swap page, asking why more landlords aren't pet-friendly, considering we live in the mountains and almost everyone in one shape or another has a pet.
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While I understand that some landlords just don't like pets in general (which is what I read quite a bit of in the comments on the man's post), it's really frustrating to see others, who are more willing to work with possible tenants, put restrictions on the size of the dog or worse yet, the breed.
Our youngest pup is a 2-year-old pit mix named Grace. She's so sweet and gentle, but it's often hard to be away from her for the 9-10 hours that she's crated when neither of us is home to take care of them. Same goes for our 5-year-old hound mix, Chance, and our 9-year-old border collie, Journey.
Being able to live closer to the Glenwood area would not only be better for myself and Karlie in terms of safety and sanity, but also for our pets' well-being.
Without naming the company we tried renting through upon moving here originally in September 2015, we were told that pets were allowed, but that our dogs had to be 20 pounds or less. What kind of garbage is that?
Since then, Karlie and I have come across some beautiful rental units that are completely in our budget that happen to be closer to town, yet there's always a catch when it comes to pets.
Most will say pets considered, but when it's mentioned that we have three, it's a complete no-go. Others just simply say no pets.
It's tough to see that because it's just another restriction that is put in place (although not maliciously) that leads to people leaving the area because they can't find affordable housing near where they work.
Whether you want to believe it or not, pets are just as much a part of one's family as anyone else.
Too often our local shelters are overwhelmed with dogs being surrendered for one reason or another, but I truly believe that lessening the restrictions on pets in rental units will help alleviate some of the issues at the local shelters.
For now though, Karlie and I are stuck waiting for the right time to buy a house. It would be nice though if some of the rental restrictions could be negotiated, instead of a flat-out no.
Plus, what's that massive deposit of first, last and a percentage of rent paid for in the first place? Wouldn't that be more than enough to repaint, refurnish (if needed) and replace carpeting anyway?
Let's start being more accommodating to people with pets when it comes to renting. Not all pets are bad and not all pets will destroy your rental property.
Josh Carney is the Glenwood Springs Post Independent sports editor.
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