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City of Denver trying to crack down again - this time gunning for LTRs

The city has made STR all but impossible, now they are looking to wreak regulation havoc on owners 30+ day rentals - even the “mom and pop” landlords that only have one property. My realtor friend forwarded this email sent by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR)

If these new rules get passed into law, I think I’ll be selling my little Denver place. Not worth it.

DMAR Opposes Denver Long-Term Rental Registration, Licensing and Inspection Proposal.

As you may be aware, City Council President Stacie Gilmore is proposing legislation that would require registration, licensing and inspection of long-term rentals (30+ days) in the City & County of Denver. This proposal would apply to mom and pop landlords with one property all the way up to institutional owners with hundreds of units. More specifically, her proposal would require the following:

  • Landlords to register and license their long-term rentals every four years. Additionally, prior to receiving the license, landlords will be required to obtain and pay for a third-party home inspection. This inspection will be required every four years when the license is up for renewal.
  • During the early licensing phase, the application fee will be $25. After the early licensing phase, the application fee would go up to $50.
  • The licensing fee would be:
    • $50 for 1 dwelling unit
    • $100 for 2-10 dwelling units
    • $250 for 11-50 dwelling units
    • $350 for 51-250 dwelling units
    • $500 for 250 dwelling units and above
  • For more specifics, please visit this landing page, which contains FAQs as well as more detailed information on the proposal.

In March 2021, Councilwoman Gilmore and her Chief of Staff Magen Elenz provided DMAR’s Government Affairs Committee with a presentation on this proposal. After their presentation and lengthy Q&A, the Government Affairs Committee voted unanimously to oppose this legislation, a position which was ratified by the Association’s Board of Directors later in March. On April 14, DMAR provided City Council and the Mayor’s Office with this letter of opposition. We are opposing this legislation for but not limited, to the following reasons:

  • Impact on affordability. While the licensing and inspection fees will be spread out over four years, this program will create additional costs for landlords which are likely to be passed onto tenants. This proposal is just one of many pieces of Denver legislation that would increase the cost of housing. If we are serious about affordability and having a city accessible to all, we need to thoughtfully consider the broader policy landscape when it comes to affordability rather than viewing these kinds of proposals in a silo.
  • Disproportionate impact on mom-and-pop landlords. The current fee structure would cost mom-and-pop landlords significantly more than institutional and corporate owners of large apartment buildings (i.e. the licensing fee for one unit is $50 while the $500 fee for a 250 unit building would break down to $2 per unit). We should not be charging our mom-and-pop landlords more, thereby creating a disincentive for them to continue to rent their property.
  • Concerns with home inspectors. It has been our industry and the Colorado Association of REALTORS® that has long advocated for increased licensing and education requirements for home inspectors. There are no continuing education requirements for home inspectors in addition to them not being required to be insured or bonded. This lack of regulation has created major safety/liability concerns considering the significant role home inspectors play within real estate transactions. However, what is most concerning is that home inspectors are not required to have background checks in Colorado. While there are quality home inspectors in the industry, your proposed legislation stands to exacerbate the personal and home safety issues we already see today.

On April 14th, Denver City Council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee reviewed Council President Gilmore’s proposal and voted unanimously to send it to the full city council. This proposal will be up for a first reading on Monday, April 26th and a final reading and public hearing on Monday, May 3rd.

Prior to the City Council vote, Gilmore is hosting two virtual town halls on April 22nd at 5:30 PM and April 24th at 10:00 AM (click here for Zoom info). We would strongly encourage our members to attend and provide feedback at these meetings.

Currently, DMAR is pushing for the following amendments:

  • Removal of the inspection requirement.
  • An exemption for mom-and-pop landlords with three units or less.
  • Lowering of application and licensing fees for mom-and-pop landlords with five units or less.

We would encourage our members to reach out to Council President Gilmore and her Chief of Staff at Stacie.Gilmore@denvergov.org and Magen.Elenz@denvergov.org. We would ask that you please copy Peter Wall, DMAR’s Director of Government Affairs on all correspondence to their council office. Peter’s email is pwall@dmarealtors.com. Furthermore, we would encourage you to get in touch with the other members of City Council. Their contact info can be found by clicking on this link.

Realtors should STFU, and stay out of things they have no business getting involved with. Their role is “My look at this lovely kitchen” …
What a great reason for homeowners in Denver to blacklist all realtors that tried this crap. “Oh you want My Listing”? Ha! You should have thought of that before …

What are you talking about? The realtors are opposing the city’s proposal to make things impossible for hosts.


Well actually, they aren’t. What they’re proposing is nothing more than happens in many cities, and to be honest, having properties, LTR or STR, inspected and licenced is no bad thing.

Over the past few years in Scotland we’ve seen the conditions under which LTR can operate gradually tightened, and the main effect has been to weed out the bad landlords.

It costs $115 (approx) to register a property, renewable every three years and deposits must be lodged in a government approved scheme. Gas and electrical installation must be certified annually for gas and every four years for electrics and all properties MUST have hardwired smoke alarms, heat detectors and CO1 alarms.

All of the above is national law, local authorities merely implement it, they have no discretionary powers to pass anything on a “nod and a wink”. Landlords here have received both prison sentences and heavy fines for non compliance, and quite rightly so.

The catalyst for much of this was when three young students died in a fire, where the property had no smoke detectors and no viable exit from the property in case of fire (basement flat with fixed window bars).

Why isn’t it worth it? If your place is up to scratch then it’s a four yearly application cycle with a $150 inspection fee. It’s not onerous and ultimately may work to your advantage as renters will want places that comply with the law, as opposed to one from a landlord that doesn’t give a shit.

I suspect it’s the bigger operators who are most concerned over this potential legislation, many of who will fall into the category of slumlords. Folks with just a few rental units shouldn’t find it difficult to get themselves compliant…

They aren’t, all they’re doing is proposing regulation and inspection.



I get that, but it sounds like there are some concerns regarding the inspectors.

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Wow. My last inspection was $600 US dollars. Property taxes. 600 SQFT unit. Did you read the article I posted?

I did read it, and actually took the time to read the proposals as well (ok, I’m bored :rofl: ), which was where the $150 fee was quoted. What have property taxes got to do with?


I know this is for LTRs but This isn’t much different from what my area is proposing for STRs. I think it will happen because for the area it is millions in instant revenue & jobs.

The costs don’t seem excessive but it is definitely more per unit for small businesses which isn’t fair.

This is simply a local government money grab. It really is disproportionate against the little guy. The realtors are a strong lobby and they will do everything they can to minimize this intrusion. But if STR is currently being regulated through instpections, then LTR should be too. Why should govt only care about decent and safe housing for visitors to the area, but not protecting the local citizens also?

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They are not required to in Denver:

" Do STR units require in-person inspections ? No. However, licensees must certify under penalty of perjury that their STR has a functioning fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, and liability insurance to cover bodily and property damage."

That is my point.
If, under a new ordinance, they require STR to be inspected, but not LTR, then the govt is being hypocrytical. Inspections are to protect the people in the residence. Why should a govt care more about transient visitors in an STR rather than their own citizens in an LTR?
If they want to require inspections of STR, then push for them to also require them of LTR so that everyone is equally protected.
That is likely to fail.

If it does, then it’s a blinkered approach by LTR landlords.

We’ve got a property (in Glasgow) about to go back up for LTR subsequent to a major refurb of the building, and when chatting to our property manager about it yesterday, the conversation shifted around to the upcoming regulations in Scotland for STR, and the ramifications for them, as they look after a number of STR also.

His opinion is that it’s a good thing; good for property owners and good for them. He cited the example of how the ROI on LTR has increased significantly post licencing and regulation, and if the new regs for STR are both adopted and enforced, folks with STR will see a similar increase as well.

I was surprised at the per month figure he’s suggested for this property, it’s around 30% higher than I expected.

In his opinion, and he’s a fairly opinionated fecker :wink: , regulation and licencing is good for the majority, but bad for the slumlords and the let’s make a quick few quid guys. Landlords who keep a tight ship in respect of inspections and repairs have nothing to be concerned about, it’s the bottom feeders who will ultimately suffer. I agree with him.


I am not sure if you are agreeing with me, disagreeing with me, or starting a totally new talking point. My primary input was that if there is a govt requirement of inpections, both LTR and STR should be handled the same way by ordinances, as far as mandating an inspection. And also that the LTR lobbys would probably object due to the cost implications of inspections. I am personally in favor of fair and reasonable regulations. I am not in favor of any regulation that is overly burdensome financially on the property owner. A proper balance is best in my view. I am not sure why the ROI would significantly increase after govt regulation and licensing, other than prior to that, some owners were underpricing their properties.

In my experience, most larger successful landlords with a professionally run operation are interested in two things: Profit and property value, because once they’ve wrung out their depreciation, they want to roll the capital gains into equity in another property and avoid tax on the gain (US tax laws).

I was second in command at a landlord that owned 700 units of rental housing and 5 mobile home parks (caravan parks to you) with a total of 500 rental lots. We kept up the properties because every 3 to 5 years the boss would refinance and leverage his equity to buy more properties, so we not only had to be profitable, but places had to look great and have no code violations for appraisers and inspectors.

We also could see that good maintenance meant top of market rent for that location, and that helped us to get good tenants who paid rent on time and didn’t have behavioral issues.

Well kept rentals will always be more successful, whether LTR or STR.

Just adding a different perspective to the licencing/regulation argument.

Regulation has removed a swathe of sub standard properties, which has created a higher level of demand for what is available and has allowed landlords to price accordingly. What we haven’t seen (so far) is an equivalent increase in property prices for LTR suitable properties, hence rental yields have increased, which ultimately affects the ROI.

From our perspective, we’re not avaricious landlords, rental increases are rarely more than inflation and due to that we have a happy LTR tenant set. No issues with rent payments and very few complaints re maintenance. That said, as soon as one goes, in the current climate we know we can remarket for 20/25% more than the current rent.

Regulation is often seen as the bogeyman. When done well, everyone’s a winner.


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