Mar 9, 2023 - News

Denver among nation's top pet-friendly cities for renters

Data: Zillow; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Denver is the fifth most pet-friendly city in the country for renters, according to a new analysis from Zillow.

Why it matters: Finding affordable housing here is hard enough as it is, and securing a place that allows furry friends without costing a fortune can be even more difficult.

By the numbers: As of January, more than 75% of Denver rental listings allow animals, Zillow data shows.

  • That's well above the national average of 55% and just 4 percentage points below Austin, Texas — Zillow's top-ranked city.

Yes, but: Landlords often add fees and additional rent for tenants with pets, which can disproportionately impact lower-income households.

  • One-time pet fees, refundable and not, start around $250 in Denver, Fox31 reports.
  • For example, at Red Peak— which owns over 50 properties in the area — upfront fees range from $200 to $500, and monthly pet fees range from $25 to $40.

State of play: Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver) has introduced a bill that would eliminate pet-related charges to cut costs for cash-strapped residents and ease the pressure on crowded animal shelters.

  • The legislation — which faces an uphill battle due to a lack of co-sponsors and criticism from the Colorado Apartment Association — would also create a fund that reimburses landlords up to $1,000 for pet damages.
  • The association, which represents landlords for over 350,000 apartments in the state, argues it will cause rents and deposits to rise to offset potential wear and tear from pets.

The big picture: In the wake of the pandemic pet boom, 59% of renters nationwide report having at least one pet in 2022 compared to 46% in 2019, per Zillow data.

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