DENVER (CBS4)– Homeowners in Denver who want to rent out their properties for the short-term must have a license before listing it online.
The City of Denver requires homeowners to register before they list property on sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
Some property owners fought the license requirement over the summer but lost. Residents in some areas of the rapidly-growing Denver metro area are worried too many rentals would ruin the charm of their neighborhoods.
One man knows what can happen when a short-term rental goes bad.
“There was puke on our brand new couch and on our new rug, and chewing tobacco spilled, and basically a whole roll of paper towels shoved down a toilet upstairs,” said Airbnb host Chris Meiners.
And the damage didn’t stop there.
“They took my work laptop, a backup phone, and a bunch of Xbox games,” Meiners said.
The renters broke into a locked bedroom, stole valuables and tried to pull a sink off the wall.
Meiners hasn’t heard from the guests since he rented out his home back in September.
“We’re going to preserve the residential character of Denver’s neighborhoods which people love dearly but we’re also going to allow this really popular business practice,” said Dan Rowland with the Dept. of Excise & Licenses.
Starting in January 2017, renting out property on Airbnb or any other short-term site will require a license. The new rules prohibit homeowners from renting anything other than their primary residence.
“What we wanted to was figure out a way to, ‘Okay, how can we legitimize this practice and regulate it,'” said Rowland.
The City of Denver has already started monitoring sites like Airbnb to see who has signed up for the licenses. Listings that aren’t licensed will likely be contacted by the city.
“The City will be enforcing this. We have an administrative citation process that essentially is a civil ticket that folks will get if they’re still not complying,” said Rowland.
Those fines can reach up to $1,000 per violation.