DENVER (KDVR) — Rent continues to rise in Denver.
The Colorado Apartment Association reports rent is at a 14.4% year-over-year increase but is in line with the rising cost of living, which includes everything from gas to groceries.
At the same time, vacancy rates are historically low in Colorado, with nearly a dozen people competing for every available unit.
Agapita Gutierrez told the Problem Solvers she is devastated to face having to leave her home after learning of a rent increase of more than $400 a month.
“It is just really hard, because we’ve made a home here for 11-plus years,” she tearfully explained.
Gutierrez said that soon after a new property management company took over, her rent went from $600 a month to more than $1,000. She received a notice in May and a new lease in June, but she became confused over the exact amount of the rent.
“The notice they put on my door. It said $995 a month. In the lease, it says $1,095,” she said.
Gutierrez is also waiting for her security deposit from her former landlord so she can move her family to a new location, but she said she is unable to reach him.
“We’ve had no contact from him whatsoever,” she said.
Renters’ rights in Colorado
A mediator is now looking at the case. The Problem Solvers reached out to the management company and the landlord and were still waiting for a response on Wednesday night.
FOX31 also contacted tenants’ rights attorney Jacob Eppler.
“If that tenant goes to court saying you violated Colorado law in returning my security deposit in a timely fashion, they’re going to be liable,” Eppler said.
The Colorado Apartment Association reports the average rent paid in metro Denver is now at $1,765. Eppler said landlords and tenants need to understand the law.
“Landlords have a right to increase the rent for any amount. However, there is some limitation under Colorado law about how often they can do that, and they’re not supposed to do that more than once in a 12-month period” Eppler said.
Help is available online for renters who need emergency or legal assistance.
More on renters’ rights from the Problem Solvers
- Apartment infested? Here are the rights renters have under Colorado law
- Do you rent in Colorado? New renters rights took effect Oct. 1
- Tenants left without hot water, heat for a month