Denver Launches Residential Rental Licensing Program

Published on March 10, 2022

The City and County of Denver's drive for compliance with minimum housing standards has begun with the launch of the residential rental property licensing program. Through this program, every property in Denver that is offered for rent for more than 30 days will be required to have a residential rental property license. Applications can now be submitted through Denver's Online Permitting and Licensing Center.

Licensing is voluntary in 2022. To make getting the license as inexpensive as possible, the City is offering applicants a 50% reduction in the application fee (reduced from $50 to $25) if they apply in 2022. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, a license will be required for anyone who offers, provides, or operates a residential rental property consisting of two or more rental dwelling units on a single parcel. For example, this would apply to an apartment building or a duplex where both units are owned and rented out by the same person.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, a license will be required for rental properties consisting of one or more rental dwelling units on a single parcel, such as a single-family home, or a triplex, rowhouse or townhouse where one unit is being rented. The license will need to be renewed once every four years unless there is a change in ownership.

"Denver will now have a licensing tool to hold landlords and property managers accountable for providing a safe living space," said Molly Duplechian, interim executive director of the Department of Excise and Licenses. "Our hope is that many landlords and property managers take advantage of our early licensing period to benefit from the discount offered before licensing is required, so we have a city that achieves high standards of living for rental properties with a very inexpensive license requirement."

The property is required to pass an inspection by a qualified, third-party inspector. An inspection checklist(PDF, 327KB) and guidebook(PDF, 367KB) are available on the residential rental property webpage.

To make the license affordable for all license applicants, the licensing fees are based on the number of units at one rental property address. The license fee is only $50 for a single dwelling unit, $100 for two to 10 units, $250 for 11 to 50 units, $350 for 51 to 250 units and $500 for 251 or more units.

Additional information about inspections, including the qualifications needed to be an inspector, is also on the webpage. Qualified inspectors can fill out a form and be added to a list the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses will maintain. Property owners and managers are responsible for confirming any inspector they hire meets all qualifications.

Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2022, property owners and managers are required to provide a written lease to their tenants. A copy of Denver Tenant Rights and Resources must also be provided to the tenant by the owner or operator of residential rental property when any new lease is signed and/or if a rent demand is served.

See the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses residential rental property license website for more information about the application requirements and a copy of the Denver Tenant Rights and Resources(PDF, 87KB) in English and Spanish(PDF, 88KB).