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Colorado Springs passes new Airbnb rules

  • Oct 31, 2018 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Colorado scenery

The Colorado Springs City Council has passed new regulations that set rules for short-term rental owners and require them to get short-term rental permits and collect lodging taxes. The council passed the amendments unanimously after hours of discussion and vocal public opposition.

The city estimates that there are up to 3,000 short-term rental properties in Colorado Springs. The new laws require these operators to follow neighborhood rules in response to concerns from council members and neighbors about issues such as noise, traffic, and parking. Short-term rental operators must also apply for a short-term rental permit, which costs $119 per year.

Hosts will also be required to apply for a city tax license and collect lodging and sales taxes from guests then remit to the city. Colorado Springs is a “home rule” city and collects its own taxes on short-term rentals. Colorado Springs hosts must also collect state and county sales taxes on their short-term rentals, which are remitted to the State of Colorado.

Airbnb collects city, state, and county sales and lodging taxes on behalf of its hosts in Colorado Springs. However, Colorado short-term rental operators are still responsible for registering with city and state tax authorities.

Short-term rental hosts using other online rental platforms, such as VRBO and HomeAway, that do not collect taxes on their behalf are responsible for collecting and remitting tax themselves. MyLodgeTax can help Colorado Springs short-term rental operators take care of all city and state lodging tax obligations.

The new Colorado Springs rules also state that short-term operators must:

  • Have proof of at least $500,000 in property liability insurance
  • Include the short-term rental permit number in all marketing materials
  • Display the short-term rental permit, along with all local contact information and emergency safety information, in the rental property
  • Be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to respond to complaints, which must be done within an hour; hosts can also designate a local contact person to be available

Short-term rental hosts are prohibited from:

  • Serving meals to short-term renters
  • Holding large commercial or social events such as weddings on short-term rental properties

The new rules become official at the next council meeting on November 13 and will go into effect January 1, 2019. The regulations will be reviewed in June.

Colorado Springs is not the only city in the state taking action on short-term rentals. Breckenridge recently updated its short-term rental law to set up a 24-hour hotline for people to call with complaints about short-term rentals. The changes also require hosts to designate a “responsible agent,” who has up to one hour to resolve complaints.

Breckenridge’s updates were inspired by similar measures that went into effect in Vail earlier this year.    

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.