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Update on Denver's Airbnb law

Update on Denver's Airbnb law -- February 2018

We went to the latest Denver Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee (STRAC) late last month and thought we'd share what we heard. As a brief background, Denver passed an Airbnb law in January 2017 that allows short-term rentals (STRs) only in your primary residence and only if you get licensed and pay taxes.

  • There are 3,866 unique STRs. 53% of STRs are licensed.

  • The number of short-term rental units in Denver is increasing. After the city implemented its law in January 2017, the number of STR units dropped by 1,000 to 2,751 in just three months. Since then, they've steadily increased to a high in January 2018 of 3,866.

  • The city has 25 open STR investigations. Officials told me most of those are looking at whether the hosts are actually hosting in their primary residence.

  • 6 orders to show cause have been filed. Those are cases filed against hosts claiming they're hosting in a home that's not their primary residence. 4 of the 6 surrendered their license. 2 settled after neighbor mediation.

  • $2.9 million in lodger's tax was collected from Denver Airbnb hosts in 2017.

  • The city continues talking with Airbnb on a plan to collect tax for hosts. This has been going on for a year. Who knows when the hell they're going to finalize something.

It seems like the city is hearing more complaints about violations of the primary residence rule, but nowhere near the number of people who are likely violating that rule.

It also seems like the number of Airbnb/STRs in Denver is going to continue to slowly increase. If you're an investor looking to do STRs in Colorado, you might check out Colorado Springs where the market is not as saturated and the laws are totally open. (And prices are lower.)

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