Some property management companies and landlords in the Boulder area have, over the years, gotten to the point that they are now asking renters about renewal ten months in advance of the next least term start! These policies force renters to either renew insanely early or lose their apartment for the next lease term.

This early leasing practice was born out of the CU housing fair, which about 20 years ago would happen in late winter or early spring so freshman who would be moving out of the dorms could easily find housing for the next year.  Over time CU eventually added one in December and another in October.

Early leasing may be welcome to a small fraction of renters in this town, namely young first-time-renter students. Forcing most renters to renew so prematurely is a very unwelcome practice. It doesn’t give renters enough time to know whether they like a rental enough before having to sign on for a future year. It forces turnovers unnecessarily and it forces renters into situations about which they are not entirely happy—either having to renew with a company they are not sure about, or don’t like—or having to move when they don’t want to move.

One corporate property management company in town that was ordered to pay a $1million in fines and restitution, in a plea bargain announced January 2024, for stealing from renters has a particularly cruel and suspicious leasing practice. This company demands that renters decide in October whether they want to renew for another year commencing the following August. They give renters 48 hours to decide. If they don’t hear from the current renters in that very short time window they simply go to the housing fair and rent the place out from under them.  (The cost to advertise rentals at the housing fair, incidentally, varies based on when in the year and how many units a company or landlord manages. October costs more than February, for example. The cost for big companies is in the range of $650 – $850 per table with the big management companies getting from two to four tables; for small companies or landlords the cost is from $250 – $450 per table, currently.)

By Published On: February 27th, 2024

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