DMAR Opposes Denver Long-Term Rental Registration, Licensing and Inspection Proposal
About the 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.
Why is DMAR Opposed?
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.
Timeline & How You Can Help
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.