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New rules for Denver Airbnbs start in April

  • Mar 12, 2019 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Denver, Colorado

The city of Denver, Colorado, has new rules for short-term rental operators that will go into effect April 10.

Starting on that date, vacation rental hosts will be required to alert the company responsible for insuring the property that it will be used as a short-term rental. This is required even if the host does not obtain liability insurance from that company.

Short-term rental hosts must have liability insurance coverage for the property of at least $1 million. Alternatively, operators may go through their short-term rental platform for liability insurance, as long as the platform provides coverage equal to the $1 million requirement.

Hosts whose property is part of a homeowners association are also required to notify the association before they offer their property for short-term rental.

The new rules also clarify the reasons why a short-term rental license may be denied or revoked. These including failing to follow any city or state laws or regulations as well as operating in a way that “adversely affects the public health, safety, or welfare of the immediate neighborhood in which the property is located.”

Under the rules already in effect, Denver vacation rental hosts are only allowed to rent out their primary residence. They’re required to obtain a city short-term rental business license and post the license number in any advertisements.

Short-term rental operators must also:

  • Be legal United States residents
  • Adhere to zoning code requirements
  • Obtain written permission from landlords or owners
  • Have a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher in the rental

Short-term rental hosts in Denver are also required to collect taxes from guests, including city lodger’s tax and state sales tax. Before they can collect these taxes, hosts must register with the state for tax licenses with both the city and the state.

Airbnb automatically collects the taxes for hosts who use its site, but if operators use other listing platforms, such as VRBO or HomeAway, they’re responsible for collecting and remitting lodging taxes to the city and state themselves.

It’s important to understand that even if your rental platform collects taxes for you, you’re still required to register for city and state tax licenses and file regular lodging tax returns with both authorities. MyLodgeTax can automate and simplify short-term rental tax compliance for hosts. For more on short-term rental taxes in Colorado, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Currently, there are more than 2,400 short-term licenses in Denver. According to the city, around 60 percent of short-term rental operators comply with the short-term rental license requirement, one of the highest rates in the U.S.    

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.