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New Rules in Denver for Short-Term Rentals Go into Effect Today


DENVER – Denver is implementing new rules for short-term rental (STR) licenses which go into effect today.

  • STR licensees must carry a minimum of $1 million worth of liability insurance for the property being used as a STR. Licensees have two options for this coverage: they may obtain an additional policy or rider, or they may conduct all transactions through a hosting platform with at least $1 million worth of coverage.
  • STR licensees will be required to notify their regular home or apartment insurers of their plans to turn their dwelling into a short-term rental. They are also required to notify their Home Owners Association (HOA).
  • A STR license can be revoked or sanctioned, and an application for a new license can be denied if a rental property is found to be adversely affecting the public health, safety, or welfare of the immediate neighborhood in which the property is located.
  • STR licensees must submit any changes to the name or contact information for a “Local Responsible Party” (required by ordinance) to the Department of Excise and Licenses within 30 days of the change.

“We are striking the right balance with sensible regulations that maximize the benefits of home sharing and welcome tourists to our city, while minimizing the negative impacts on neighborhoods,” said Ashley Kilroy, Executive Director of Denver Excise and Licenses. “These new rules increase protections for our community and help address the most common complaints we receive.”

There are currently 2,574 active short-term rental licenses in Denver compared to 2,037 in April last year. The amount of active STR licenses in Denver has increased 95 percent in the last two years. Denver has issued licenses for STRs since December 2016. Denver Excise and Licenses uses a software tool called Host Compliance to scan the internet for short-term rental advertisements and identify whether hosts are following the rules by including their short-term rental license number in the ads. Denver is near an all-time high compliance rate with 72% of online listings in compliance with the rules, compared to 52% a year ago.

Short-term rental licensees are only allowed to rent out their primary residence in Denver. Denver defines a primary residence as the usual place of return for housing as documented by at least two of the following: motor vehicle registration, driver’s license, Colorado state identification card, voter registration, tax documents, or a utility bill. Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses tracks short-term rental compliance.

These rules were crafted in response to input received by the public and at reoccurring Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee meetings with  STR hosts, non-hosts, community members, and elected officials in attendance. Before implementation of these rules, Denver Excise and Licenses posted the rules publicly in December and held a public hearing in January. The final rules were signed on January 25, but did not go into effect until April to allow short-term operators time to get into compliance.