With the new service being offered to Fort Collins renters, the Tenant Protection Agency, tenants can pay for a service hoping to alleviate tenant/landlord discrepancies.
As a responsible renter, taking photographs and working through your lease with a fine-tooth comb is something you should be doing anyway.
If you are too busy or simply do not want to take the time, then most definitely, take advantage of the services the agency offers.
There are many horror stories of landlords abusing their tenants. What you should do as a renter is understand that you may be put in a situation where you can be taken advantage of.
Similar to some of the paid services the TPA offers, Student Legal Services in the Lory Student Center also offers free legal advice to students, similarly to the TPA. Legal advisors would discourage against signing a lease until the professionals at SLS have examined it.
For non-students, the legal advice offered through TPA is beneficial. The mediation process that TPA offers between landlord and tenant can also help with those ever-present issues concerning animals, parties, parking and utilities among other things.
The point is, make sure that you are doing everything on your end to stay protected from getting burned. Landlords will always be wary of renting to college students, regardless of their lifestyle, so be assured they do everything they can to protect themselves.