Clay Short works as a go-between for landlords and renters with his company, Colorado Lease Up. Photographed July 29, 2015 at the CPR studios.

(Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)

High housing costs in Denver have forced some renters to get creative to save money. For instance, they're drinking coffee in their building's lobby instead of at Starbucks. On the more questionable side, they may be renting extra space in their apartments and condos via services like Air B&B -- and their landlord may not know.

On average, a lease in the metro area costs 26 percent more than it did three years ago. So to stay in the neighborhood -- and within budget -- people make concessions, says Clay Short. He's the founder of Colorado Lease Up, which works with landlords and property managers to fill vacancies.

Short shared tips for renting in the Denver metro area with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.

Three tips for getting a better deal on rents:

  • Start your lease in the winter months because you'll likely get a better deal.
  • Keep a good rapport with the landlord or property manager.
  • Get creative: Look for other things to cut in your budget, like parking. See if you can park at work and light rail home.