Rent prices are jacking up and rentals are getting tight as ski season looms in Park City; especially if you own a pet. Seasonal workers are spilling in faster than beginner skiers on the bunny hill and the three Park City resorts are fearful that if they don't find housing, they'll go someplace else to work. But let's be serious. Those employees will find something, even if it means parking themselves in nearby Salt Lake City for half the rent and riding the employee shuttle to work every morning.

Pet owners are the biggest losers this year. In fact, Park City shelters are feeling the heat now that winter is coming and landlords post that darn "No Pets" rule while you apartment hunt. So, ok, you made the mistake of raising a dog before you owned your own home and now you refuse to get rid of him but need a new place to live in Park City? Not only is there a shortage of affordable housing, but what's left won't allow pets. What to do, what to do? First, try not to pawn off your pet to the local animal shelter.  

Do a search on craigslist.com, KSL.com, KPCW.org, parkrecord.com, and housinghelp.org for mother-in-law apartments or roommate situations in houses rather than apartment buildings. Rules in private residences might be negotiable. The landlord tends to be the homeowner and, therefore, more willing to hear your plea.

Think twice about calling on an ad that states NS/NP if you do actually smoke or have pets. Property managers will often be annoyed that you wasted their time. With the housing crunch, there's no reason to make exceptions, even if they were able. Make the call but find out if the place is in a house or apartment complex. If it's a condo, skip the management company as their hands are tied but you might be able to track down the owner through public records and ask yourself. If there's no HOA (Home Owners Association) rule against pets, he just might rent to you. You never know.

I have a friend who not only does not want pets in her rentals but she hates dogs. This month she rented to a woman with a giant Rottweiler. The woman paid her an extra $1,000 security. Everyone has their price.

When all else fails, there are two organizations in Park City that provide seasonal housing resources:

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust organizes a weekly roommate roundup at the beginning of the season. Call (435) 647-9719 for more information.

The Christian Center provides free food, household items, social gatherings, Tuesday dinners, employment, and housing leads for seasonal workers. The phone number is (435) 649-2260.

The State of Utah Division of Housing & Community Development Affordable Housing Database page is a resource to look for government-assisted affordable housing. Most of those rentals will require you meet low income requirements.