Denver officials cracking down on Airbnb rentals

Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 22:38:03-04

It's okay to rent a room -- or even your own home -- but the City of Denver is considering new rules for short-term rental companies such as Airbnb.

This new move comes following an increase in multiple short-term rentals, which according to city rules is illegal.  Denver 7's Kristen Skovira spoke to landlords who said they think the law should be changed.

Monika Dewitt owns a small apartment building in Denver’s Congress Park neighborhood. For just over $100 a night, you can rent the property on Airbnb.

“The people that have come to visit from out of town are just the most amazing people,” she said.

Dewitt is not alone. There are at least a dozen profiles on Airbnb advertising several different properties for rent in the area.

But the Denver City Council is coming down on these multiple, short-term rentals.

“I am so upset and I don't know what I’m going to do,” said Dewitt, “Because I don't live here. I live down the street.”

City officials said it's illegal to rent out anything but your primary residence or one that exists on your property, like a carriage-house. And those people on Airbnb who have 8 different listings? They are violating zoning codes.

Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman and her supporters said allowing people to buy-up property and rent it out will hurt neighborhoods and the affordable housing market in Denver.

Still, regulating the online sites will be tough.

For landlords like Dewitt, who's already booked months out, this crack-down could mean the end of an income stream.

The city wants short-term landlords to get a business license and pay lodging tax. If landlords don't comply they could get fined up to $999 per day for not following city code.


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