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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Mary and Dennis Schlueter of Fort Collins have lived in their three-bedroom apartment for ten years. They're both in their 70's and live off Social Security. Their new landlord just hit them with the news that their $669 a month rent is going up $331, yet another sign of a booming housing market and skyrocketing rents. The Schlueters simply can't afford the increase.
"We’ve got utility costs too," Dennis said. "What I get from Social Security takes care of that amount. Then I'm done. I've got nothing left."
The Schlueter's have been pleading with their landlord to give them a break but they haven't received a response.
"Some of these property managers have no heart," Mary said. "They don’t really care about who is paying their way."
Moving somewhere else would be almost impossible for the Schlueters. According to the Colorado Department of Housing, the average rent in Colorado is well above $1,000.
"We’d sure like to be able to buy a place," Mary said. "We can’t save anything."
Dennis won't go down without a fight.
"I would first thing go to a junkyard dog lawyer," Dennis said. "They have a bite that’ll hurt bad. I’d like to find one of those and go after these buggers."
Mary just wants some support.
"If anyone could help, we would sure appreciate it," she said.
The Schlueters have advice for other renters so they find themselves in the same situation: make sure and go over the lease with a landlord to try and prevent getting hit with a huge rent increase.