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Some Denver short-term rental owners are giving up their licenses, rather than risk criminal charges

Posted at 10:39 AM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:54:24-04

DENVER – Hundreds of Denver property owners are shutting the door on short-term rental investments as Denver cracks down on rule-breakers in a way no other American city is doing.

As of Thursday, 154 people have surrendered their licenses and another 126 have withdrawn applications this year as four people faced felony criminal charges for falsifying documents related to their rental properties, according to data obtained by The Denver Post from the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses. In 2018, 93 surrendered licenses and no one withdrew an application.

The surge in surrenders and withdrawals has come as the city began asking property owners to sign affidavits, swearing they were in compliance with a rule that their short-term rental locations were also their primary residences. This summer, the Denver District Attorney’s Office, in cooperation with the excise and licenses department, began filing criminal charges against people who investigators say lied on their paperwork.

“This was a unique tactic that would really put people in a position where they really have to come clean and it’s working,” said Eric Escudero, excise and licenses department spokesman. “(Hosts) are realizing the seriousness of this and it’s been an effective tactic that helps us better regulate an industry that’s very difficult to regulate.”

Read more from our partners at the Denver Post