New residential rental property application

Online training videos are available for residential rental property applications.

Have any questions about the program or the application? See our FAQ page.
If you can't find what you're looking for - contact us!

Before you apply

Step 1.Read the ordinance

  • Read the ordinance for this license under "Municipal Code" on the right side of the page to make sure this license is right for you.

Step 2.Complete a home inspection

  • Determine how many inspections are needed:

    • For single-unit properties, an inspection of the unit (if detached) or property (if attached) is required.
    • For multi-unit properties, an inspection of 10% of the total units on the property, randomly selected by the inspector, is required

      The number of inspections must be 10% of the total units, rounded up to the nearest whole number, or at least 1, if fewer than 10 total units. Examples: 11 units = 1 inspection required, 26 units = 3 inspections required, 141 units = 14 inspections required, 267 units = 27 inspections required.

      Multi-unit inspections will also cover any shared utilities or building-wide items that are included on the inspection checklist for multi-family/unit properties.

  • Complete the required home inspection with an inspector that meets the qualifications established by the ordinance. For more information, see topics under "Inspections" on the property owners and managers webpage. A list of inspectors can be found here(XLSX, 12KB). Submit a license application within 90 days of the completed inspection. Reinspections must be completed and submitted within 90 days of application.

Step 3.Determine how many licenses your property requires

  • Each single-unit property will require an individual license.
  • For multi-unit properties, a single license can be issued for multiple units, addresses, or structures if they are all located on a single or contiguous parcels and under the same ownership. Examples include a duplex/triplex with multiple addresses on a single parcel, two or more townhouses/rowhouses on the same parcel, an apartment complex with multiple buildings with different addresses on one parcel, or a large apartment complex with multiple buildings on two or more contiguous parcels, under one ownership.
  • Determine additional addresses for the license:
    • For multi-unit properties, any additional addresses associated with the property must also be listed on the application. Instructions on how to add additional addresses will be provided within the application. Any additional addresses not identified on a license cannot be used as a residential rental property under that license. 
  • If you offer more than one unit for rent at the same location, a license application for that property is required by Jan. 1, 2023.   
  • Review the entity registration application information. Any entity or person that will hold multiple licenses in Denver will only have to complete this application once. 

Step 4.Watch the online training videos

Online training videos provide helpful and detailed overviews of the application process. They are on the Online Training Videos webpage. They show how to register for an account, how to complete licensed establishment and entity registration records, and how to apply for new business licenses or amendments.

Step 5.Register for a new account

Register for an account, if you haven't already, in Denver’s Permitting and Licensing Center. For help, navigate to the online training videos and watch the guide for how to register for a new account.

Step 6.Gather all required documents

During the process, a package will be assembled from the following three applications.

Licensed establishment application

This captures information about the location of the residential rental property. You will need to provide:

  • Valid Denver address
  • Possession of property certificate(PDF, 133KB) that shows you own the property or will have possession of it for at least 90 days after the day you submit your application. The address on the possession of property must match all addresses listed on the application.
  • Details for one to three on-site managers, including their name, date of birth, home address and contact information. On-site managers are individual(s) designated who have the authority to make decisions regarding the licensed establishment. They must always have access to and control over the licensed establishment. If you do not have an on-site manager, list the owner/ applicant OR if agreed to by the tenant, them.
  • A copy of a valid state or federally issued ID.

Entity registration application

This captures ownership information about the person or entity that will hold the license. Please note that if you are applying for multiple licenses with the same entity, you can use the same entity registration, and only need to complete this application piece once. You must provide:

  • The entity type (one of the following):
    • Sole proprietor (Individual owner – one name can be provided for license if married couple, family ownership, domestic partnership, or other similar)
    • Limited liability company
    • Partnership
    • For-profit corporation
    • Nonprofit corporation
    • An entity registration cannot be in the name of a trust. If a property is owned in trust, the entity should be registered under the trustee, a member of the trust or an appropriate LLC. Trustees or members of a trust should use “Sole Proprietor” as the entity type. If an LLC is applying for a property held in trust, use LLC as the entity type and submit according organizational documents.

  • True name of the entity or person who will hold the license
  • List of any trade names under which the entity operates
  • Details about any individual who owns 10% or more of the entity, including their name, date of birth, home address, and contact information
  • Sole proprietors will be asked to upload a copy of a valid state or federally issued ID
  • Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships will be asked to upload a copy of their organizational documents.
    • This is only required for Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships, and can include bylaws, an operating agreement, a partnership agreement, articles of incorporation/organization, certificate of good standing, etc., as applicable. Sole proprietors do not need to provide organizations documents, but will be asked to upload a copy of a valid state or federally issued ID

Any entity or person that will hold multiple licenses in Denver will only have to complete this application once. You will receive an entity registration ID in lieu of this application in the application packages you will need to submit for other locations where you might have applicable licenses.

Residential rental property license application

If exempt from inspection, you will instead need to provide:

  • If applying as a new construction, a copy of a certificate of occupancy issued within the last four years 
  • If applying with a qualifying fee exemption, an inspection report certifying compliance with federal housing standards conducted by a local, state, or federal government agency or state finance agency. Such inspection report must be dated within four (4) years of the application date.
  • For more information, see "Inspection checklist exemption" on the property owners and managers webpage

If you qualify by one of the referenced criteria and are applying for a fee exemption, you must submit the following with your application:

  • Fee exemption affidavit(PDF, 121KB)
  • An affordability exemption document (this could be an Affordable Housing Agreement, LURA (Land Use Restriction Agreement), Covenant with restrictions, Warranty Deed with restrictions, Section 8 agreement or OCAF)
  • Inspection report certifying compliance with federal housing standards conducted by a local, state, or federal government agency or a state finance agency. This inspection report must be within four years of the application date.
  • For more information, see "Fee exemption" on the property owners and managers webpage.

Remember:  
  • All materials must be digital files saved as a .pdf or .jpg. Do not include any other file types. The Department of Excise and Licenses cannot accept other file types.
  • Use numbers or letters but not characters such as symbols (/ ? < > \ : * | “ ^) or spaces that could cause complications.
    • For example:
      • Good filename: drivers-license-name-2022.pdf
      • Bad filename: last name/ id.pdf
  • In some cases, you might need to combine documents and upload them in a single .pdf. You can use a free, online tool to merge documents into a single file. 
  • Legal documents must be signed, dated and executed. All pages of large legal documents (such as a lease) must be included in the application.
  • All materials must be legible. 
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Apply online

Step 1.Apply in Denver's Online Permitting and Licensing Center

In Denver’s Online Permitting and Licensing Center

  • Under Business/Occupational, Short-Term and Residential Rental Licensing, click "Apply New."
  • Select the type of license you want to obtain and click “Continue Application.”
    •  Application package contains the following licenses: Child care center, residential rental property, retail tobacco store, massage business, and marijuana licenses.
  • Read the introduction page and click “Continue.”

This will begin the application process.  

You can save and resume within 30 days any time during the process. After 30 days, you must start again.  

Go to the Online Training Videos webpage to guide you.  

After the online application is complete, you will be prompted to submit fees in the online portal. These can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover card.

Step 2.Pay required fees

Application fee: 
$25
(Application fees are reduced through 2022. The fee will go up to $50 on Jan. 1, 2023 for multiunit properties. Single unit property application fees are reduced through 2023.)

License fee:
Based on the number of dwelling units

  • $50: Single dwelling unit
  • $100: 2 to 10 units
  • $250: 11 to 50 units
  • $350: 51 to 250 units
  • $500: 251 or more units

If applying for a fee exemption as a qualifying entity, see "Fee exemption" on the property owners and managers webpage.

Step 3.City application review and next steps

Once you submit your application, you will not be able to make changes or corrections until your application is reviewed.

Excise and Licenses tries to conduct an initial review of a complete application within seven business days. The review process might take longer if it is incomplete or requires police review (if applicable).
  • All application related communications will be sent through email, from EXLNotifications@denvergov.org. Do not respond to these emails as this inbox is not monitored.
  • If the application is incomplete, the applicant will receive a "notice of deficiency" email. This allows 14 days for corrections.
  • Incomplete applications will be denied 90 days after initial application.

Step 4.License issuance

Once approved, the applicant is emailed a copy of the business license. This allows the license holder to start operating.

The licensee should read "Once you have your license" below and follow the requirements.

  • Once you have your license

License must be displayed

Excise and Licenses will email a professional license to all licensees. This license (or a clear picture of it) must always be displayed.

Requirement to keep contact information up to date

File an online amendment application to notify the Department of any contact information changes (place of business, onsite manager, etc.). These updates must be filed within 72 hours of the change. 

Requirement to renew annually

Professional licenses expire annually. It is unlawful to operate with an expired license. Renewal applications must be filed online before a license expires.

  • Need to amend your license? 
    • To update your contact information, ownership, or business name, go to the entity registration webpage to find out how to submit those applications.

      To update your on-site manager, go to the licensed establishment webpage to find out how to submit those applications.

      A new license is required if ownership changes.