How Rent Control Works in DenverApril 9th, 2010 by Staff Writer
Rent control in Denver, Colorado, is an important subject for landlords and tenants alike. Both parties should research and ask questions regarding rent control before looking for an apartment or signing a lease.
The Definition of Rent Control
Rent control is a legal cap on the amount of rent a landlord can charge for a specific apartment. Typically, the laws only apply to residential properties. Such laws are formed by the state government or the county if it has been provided with authority to do so by the state legislature. Not every state permits rent control.
Rent Control in Denver
There is no rent control in the entire state of Colorado. A proposed law pending before the state legislature would permit private entities and the government to enter into rent control agreements on specific properties if both parties agree to the terms. However, this law has not yet been voted on or passed.
Other Denver Rent Laws
However, even though there is no rent control in Denver, other rent laws exist to protect tenants. In Colorado, a landlord may not charge a monthly rent increase the rent for a residential property until the expiration of the initial lease term in the lease agreement. For example, if a landlord and tenant enter into a one-year rental agreement, the landlord may not increase the rent by any amount until the end of that year. Additionally, Colorado law requires a landlord to return a security deposit with written itemization of any deductions and the balance within thirty days after the termination of the lease. Any landlord not adhering to this regulation forfeits the entire amount deposit.
The Denver Housing Authority
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) owns and operates approximately 4,000 housing units that are subsidized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agency offers public housing to low income individuals and families, seniors and persons with disabilities. The HUD administers funds to local housing agencies that manage the residences. There are several types of available housing, including apartments and single-family homes. To be eligible, individuals or families must have between fifty to eighty percent of the City’s median income and be approved after applying.
The DHA also administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, which makes it possible for low income Denver residents to live in rental housing anywhere in the city. The DHA permits approved residents to reside anywhere within the city as long as the landlord agrees to participate in the program. This program assists more than 5, 500 residents. To qualify, residents must prove that they have less than fifty percent of the area’s median income. After completing an application, recipients of the benefits are awarded by lottery.
Several laws protect Denver tenants against landlord abuse. Additionally, the City of Denver offers its residents rental assistance. Applying for these benefits is complicated and competitive. It is a good idea for any tenant to research these options prior to agreeing to and signing a lease.
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