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A Reminder and Overview: Denver’s Residential Rental Property Licensing Program

On May 3, 2021, the Denver City Council passed a new ordinance requiring a residential rental property license for any person offering, providing, or operating a residential rental property in the City and County of Denver. These ordinances have been implemented since then on a rolling basis. Though these requirements have been in effect for some time, this blog serves as a friendly reminder to landlords to review these requirements, incorporate them into everyday practices, and ensure ongoing compliance. Below, we will discuss the requirements of this program.

Residential Rental Property License.

Landlords are required to obtain a rental license for each residential property they own or manage within the city. As of January 1, 2023, a license is required for property owners who rent out multi-unit properties, such as an apartment complex or duplex. Starting January 1, 2024, a license will be required for ALL rental properties, including single-unit properties such as single-family homes and single units at any one location.

Applicable Rental Properties.

The Residential Rental Property Licensing Program applies to and requires a license for all single-family homes, multiplexes, townhouses, rowhouses, apartments, condominiums, accessory dwelling units, mobile homes, and manufactured homes. This program does not apply to on-campus college housing, boarding homes, lodging facilities, or short-term rentals that are rented for less than 30 days at a time.

License Application Requirements.

To obtain a rental license, property owners must complete the following:

1. Within 90 days of applying for a license, a property owner must obtain an inspection by a licensed and certified home inspector. Single-unit properties require an inspection, and multi-unit properties require 10% of the units to be inspected. For more information regarding inspection requirements and exemptions, you may refer to: Inspections and Inspector Information and Residential Rental Program Inspection Checklist Guidebook.

2. Determine how many licenses your property requires. Before you apply for a license, you will need to determine how many licenses your property requires. Each single-unit property will need an individual license. For multi-unit properties, a single license can be issued for multiple units.

3. Apply for a residential license. Once an inspection has been completed, property owners can submit an online application for a rental license through the city’s online portal. Applicants should be prepared to provide certain information such as the location of the property, the contact information for the property manager(s) and owner(s), information for the individual or entity who will hold the rental license, etc. Applicants must also pay an application fee and an annual license fee.

Renter Protections.

This program also includes specific renter protection requirements. As of January 1, 2022, rental owners and operators must provide renters with a written lease for all new tenancies exceeding 30 days. Rental owners and operators must also provide their tenants with a notice of tenant rights and resources at the time the written lease is provided.

For more information regarding the Residential Rental Property Licensing Program and how to obtain a rental license, visit the links below:

Residential Rental Property Licensing Program Ordinance

Residential Rental Property Licensing Program FAQ Page

New Residential Rental Property Application & Information Page

Mallon Lonnquist Morris & Watrous, PLLC, is a business, employment, real estate, and litigation law firm in Denver, Colorado. The attorneys at MLMW regularly represent landlords and tenants.