One of the biggest challenges when it comes to apartment shopping is finding a home for your furry friends. While Denver is a very pet friendly city, many owner-occupied and rental buildings have restrictions ranging from breed and weight to number of pets per home. Finding the right combination of apartment home and neighborhood for both you and your pets can be tricky. Here are some important elements to consider when searching for your next pet friendly apartment around downtown Denver:
Honesty: Whether you already have pets or if you’re planning to adopt one, be sure to tell your Real Estate Broker or potential Landlord about your pets. Hiding the fact you have pets is not cool and can get you in serious trouble. Be upfront about your pets and this will lead to a better environment for you and them.
Responsibility: Pick up after your pets! Many Denver rental properties are adopting the “PooPrints” program; “The solution for responsible dog owners.” The concept is simple, it’s just a DNA swab of your dog’s cheek. The DNA is submitted to a lab and recorded. A property manager or landlord can then send a “poo” sample in for testing to determine which home it came from – and fine the owner as necessary. Another annoying issue is a barking dog left alone in an apartment. If your dog requires interaction when you’re away from home be sure to have a friend or dog walker to come take your dog for a walk and feed them as needed. Keep in mind most wood-frame properties don’t have the same sound attenuation as concrete and steel structures. Your Concierge or on-site management office should be able to recommend a few reputable dog walkers, or ask your neighbors for suggestions if you’re new to the area.
Location: You need to consider your pets’ needs as much as your own when shopping for a new apartment. This means identifying a property that offers pets the space they need in the outdoors. Dog parks in Denver are quite popular and can be found in many surrounding downtown neighborhoods. If your pet requires room to roam, focus your search around a park where there are trails and green space. Dogs can only sweat through their pads and walking them down a hot sidewalk in the concrete jungle during summer is no fun for them. Check out buildings that offer on-site dog runs. This amenity is growing in popularity as it allows pet owners to conveniently and quickly escort pets just outside their apartment anytime day or night.
Pet Rent: Indeed, there is such a thing as pet rent and you need to factor that cost into your bottom line when apartment shopping. Most buildings require a $25/month apartment pet rent fee, sometimes per pet. Landlords may also require a one-time non-refundable pet fee and an additional pet security deposit (refundable for responsible pet owners). The logic behind pet rent and fees is simple; They’re invested in the work it takes to keep the building’s apartments and common areas clean for all residents to enjoy. If you’re leasing at a newer luxury community, you may find an on-site pet spa/wash – it’s an awesome amenity to care for your pets!
Service Pets: If you have service pets be sure to have your documentation available for verification. Most landlords will not charge fees or pet rents for service animals, however, a refundable pet deposit may still be required.