In 2017, William Paul Colgan and his partner left Philadelphia for Denver.
They moved into the Tava Water Apartments, a luxury lakefront complex in the Windsor neighborhood on the east side of town.
their rent? $1,287. Five years later, they’re almost double paying $2,531 a month for the same location.
Colgan feels nostalgic for a time when Denver seemed more affordable than Philadelphia.
“That’s no longer true,” Colgan said.
Rent is also higher in Denver. Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia is $1,750. $2,340 in Denver. Data from the latest National Trends Report From the online rental site Zumper.
During their first few years in town, rent increases were moderate and acceptable to the couple. When the rent jumped to his $2,185 in February 2022, there was a surprising leap. A few months later, the landlord raised the rent again to his $2,531 for a lease extension, Colgan said.
Rent increases more than once a year are prohibited by Colorado law, says eviction attorney Jana Happel.
She pointed to a Colorado law that went into effect in June 2021.
The law is as follows. (b) Rental Term. (c) whether the tenant’s lease is a fixed tenancy, a monthly tenancy, or an indefinite term;
This means that landlords only have one chance to raise their prices each year, and if they try to do so more often than that, regardless of the circumstances, they may end up in court.
As a result, Colgan and his partners are taking legal action against the landlord, BH Management, to stop the rent increase. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Colgan said not only have rents skyrocketed, but amenities have been cut during the pandemic and never reopened, despite renters continuing to incur a $65 monthly “amenity fee.” did.
“We have a private lake with a marina that has never been reopened,” Colgan said. “Previously there were tennis courts and golf greens on the property, but they have been upgraded to grassy areas. There are seven clubhouses on the property, only one of which is open. And the one closest to us was supposed to be converted into a theatre.
Since BH Management is out of state, the couple struggles to bring up issues when onsite management is not responding to maintenance concerns and other issues in the city.
They leave, but they don’t go far.
Colgan and his partner run a commercial moving company, which he said is in better financial shape than most in Denver. So they head to a similar, cheaper bargain in City Park that costs $200 less.
Colgan was stunned when their apartment was put up for rent. The landlord had charged him $1,963 in rent. This was $568 less for him than what he and his partner are paying.
Colgan believes the market can’t support the $2,531 rent landlords were charging longtime tenants. He suspects that the rent has become so high because people are scared to move and are willing to eat the extra expense to avoid the inconvenience.
“If they can bid $300 extra a month, that’s just getting $300 extra a month,” says Colgan. “They obviously know the market isn’t willing to pay for it if they don’t list this apartment at that rate now.”
Tenants are less affected if the current landlord wants to raise the rent. Finding a home on the Denver subway is difficult for most people.
Denver’s apartment vacancy rate remains low at 4.7%, but is up from a record low of 3.7% a year ago.according to it Denver Metropolitan Area Apartment Availability and Rent Surveyedited by University of Denver Daniels College of Business, Colorado Economic Management Associates and the Subway Denver Apartment Association.
Rents are up 5.3% from Q1 to Q2 2022, according to the report. Year-on-year, rents are up 12.6%.
Demand for rental housing may increase as the housing market stabilizes.Anything A cool-off is happening in real estate Ultimately, demand for apartments will increase, and rents are likely to rise.
“It’s crazy. Like everyone in Denver, we’ve been working on this for a while. It’s a very interesting market,” said Colgan. “I’m happy to see things ‘starting to slow down,’ but as long as people keep saying they’re slowing down, I’m still not sure how much of that I’m accepting of it.”
As business owners, Colgan and his partners are less concerned about themselves and their ability to cope with a rising market, and more concerned about their employees having places to live.
“We are committed to Denver as a community,” Colgan said. “We hire people to work here. If we’re struggling to pay rent, I know our employees are struggling to pay rent.”
In the three-and-a-half years since their company was launched, they have raised salaries by 16% annually to accommodate the rising cost of living in Denver.
“We hope that’s the case with all employers, but we can’t control all employers,” says Colgan. “If you want your employees to be able to come and do their work, they also need a place to sleep, food to eat, schools for their children, transportation.All of this costs money.”
They invest in their employees and grow their business, but Colgan admitted that he and his partners can’t afford the luxuries that bosses often have in other cities.
“We are business owners, but we are still renters,” he said. “We are not in a good enough financial position to be property owners.”
At least not in Denver.