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Colorado Pet Rent Laws in 2024

In Colorado, landlords are allowed to charge pet rent and additional pet fees for tenants with pets, terms of which must be outlined in the lease agreement. However, starting January 1, 2024, a new law caps pet rent at either $35 per month or 1.5% of the monthly rent (whichever is greater), and pet deposits at $300.

Kristi Carignan
March 18, 2024
March 14, 2024
6 minute read
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March 14, 2024
August 29, 2023
6 minute read
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Colorado passed a new law in 2024 that limits what landlords can charge in pet rent/fees. ESAs and service animals are still exempt.

What is Colorado’s New Pet Rent Law HB 23-1068?

Colorado pet rent laws have sparked discussion and debate among landlords, tenants, and pet owners. Known as HB 23-1068, this piece of legislation, enacted in 2023 and updated in 2024, aims to regulate and limit the amount landlords can charge tenants for having pets in their rental units. In this article, we’ll examine the specifics of Colorado's pet rent laws, exploring what they entail and how they impact both landlords and tenants.

How Does this Law Affect Renters in Colorado?

​​Colorado's new pet rent laws seek to regulate the fees associated with keeping pets in rental properties. Effective January 1st, 2024, a cap of $300 is imposed on pet deposits, regardless of the property's rental rate. In addition, if a landlord chooses to enforce pet rent to reduce the possibility of potential wear and tear, there is a cap of $35 per month,  or 1.5% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater. Furthermore, the new law discusses what to do with a pet during an eviction.

Can Landlords Still Charge Pet Rent and Deposits?

Yes, landlords in Colorado are still allowed to charge pet rent and deposits, but the new pet rent laws impose limitations and regulations as outlined above. Here are some key points regarding pet rent and deposits under the new laws:

  • Maximum Pet Rent: Under the new regulations, landlords in Colorado are limited in the amount they can charge for pet rent. The law specifies a maximum allowable pet rent.
  • Pet Deposit Restrictions: The new legislation imposes restrictions on pet deposits, with landlords being required to adhere to a standardized formula when calculating pet deposits.
  • Transparency Requirements: Landlords must provide clear and comprehensive disclosures regarding pet-related fees and deposits in rental agreements. This includes detailing the purpose of pet rent and deposit charges, as well as any specific terms and conditions related to pet ownership within the rental property.

New Rules on Restricted Breeds

Colorado's new pet-related regulations include rules on restricted dog breeds in rental properties, aiming to balance safety with pet owner rights:

  • Restricted Breeds Defined: Specific breeds known for aggression, like pit bulls and Rottweilers, are considered restricted.
  • Landlord Discretion: Landlords can decide whether to allow these breeds but must comply with fair housing laws.
  • Individual Assessment: Instead of blanket bans, landlords should evaluate pets based on behavior, training, and temperament.
  • Liability Insurance: Landlords may require tenants with restricted breeds to carry liability insurance.
  • Pet Screening: Landlords can implement pet screening processes to assess suitability for their properties.
  • Tenant Responsibilities: Pet owners with restricted breeds must ensure proper containment and behavior of their pets.
  • Appeals Process: Tenants can appeal if they feel unfairly denied housing due to their pet's breed.

New Requirements for Pets During Evictions

Colorado's laws introduced requirements for pets during evictions, focusing on their welfare:

  • Animal Control Notification: Landlords must inform local animal control of pending evictions involving pets.
  • Temporary Housing: Landlords are urged to find temporary shelter for pets during evictions, often with local shelters or rescues.
  • No Abandonment: Landlords cannot abandon pets left behind during evictions and must ensure their safety.
  • Pet Retrieval: Tenants have the right to retrieve their pets during or before evictions.
  • Cost Responsibility: Costs for pet care during evictions may fall on either landlord or tenant, as outlined in the rental agreement.
  • Animal Welfare Support: Animal welfare organizations may offer assistance to both landlords and tenants during pet-related evictions.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance: Landlords failing to comply with pet eviction requirements may face penalties or legal action.

Can Landlords Refuse Pets in Colorado?

Yes, landlords in Colorado have the right to refuse pets in their rental properties. However, they must comply with fair housing laws and consider potential impacts on their business and tenant demographic.

What Can I Do If My Landlord Doesn’t Allow Pets?

If your landlord doesn't allow pets, consider the following options:

  • Negotiate: Discuss your pet's behavior and offer to pay a pet deposit or adhere to specific terms.
  • Provide References: Offer references from previous landlords or neighbors to showcase your pet's good behavior.
  • Pet Resume: Create a document outlining your pet's training and vaccinations.
  • Pet Insurance: Consider obtaining pet insurance to cover potential damages.
  • Offer a Pet Interview: Propose a meeting between your landlord and your pet.
  • Know Your Rights: Understand local regulations regarding pet restrictions.
  • Look for Pet-Friendly Housing: Explore options that specifically cater to pet owners.
  • Assistance Animals: If applicable, discuss the possibility of an assistance animal with your landlord.

Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals are Still Exempt from Pet Fees/Restrictions

Emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals are exempt from pet fees and restrictions under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Landlords must make reasonable accommodations for ESAs and service animals, and they cannot charge pet fees or impose pet restrictions on them.

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that provides comfort and support to individuals with emotional or mental health conditions. Unlike service animals, ESAs do not require specialized training and are prescribed by licensed mental health professionals to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other disorders. ESAs are recognized as a form of assistance under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), allowing individuals to live and travel with their ESAs despite "no pets" policies.

How to Get an ESA Letter in Colorado

To get an ESA letter in Colorado, follow these steps:

  • Consult with a Licensed Mental Health Professional: Schedule an appointment with a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. This professional must be qualified to diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
  • Discuss Your Need for an ESA: During your appointment, discuss your mental health condition and how an ESA could benefit your well-being by providing comfort and support.
  • Request an ESA Evaluation: Ask your mental health professional for an evaluation specifically for an ESA. This evaluation may involve discussing your medical history, symptoms, and the potential benefits of having an ESA.
  • Receive an ESA Letter: If your licensed mental health professional determines that an ESA would be beneficial for your condition, they can provide you with an ESA letter. This letter will typically include their professional recommendation for an ESA, along with their contact information, license number, and signature.
  • Review and Follow Guidelines: Read the ESA letter carefully and follow any guidelines or recommendations provided by your mental health professional. It's essential to understand your rights and responsibilities as an ESA owner, including adhering to any housing or travel regulations.
  • Keep Your ESA Letter Safe: Store your ESA letter in a safe place, as you may need to provide it to landlords, airlines, or other entities when requesting accommodation for your ESA.


Colorado's new pet rent laws mark a significant development in the regulation of pet-related expenses in rental properties. By establishing maximum limits on pet rent and deposit amounts, these regulations aim to create a fair and balanced framework for both landlords and tenants.

While challenges and considerations exist, the overarching goal of these laws is to promote transparency, affordability, and accountability in pet ownership within the rental housing market.

Meet the author:
Kristi Carignan

Kristi Carignan is a seasoned freelance writer with over 20 years of experience crafting copy for global agencies and brands. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her furry companions, Sugar the PomChi and Rudy the Shiba Inu, and indulging in hobbies like crafting and home renovation.

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