STR, short-term rental, licenses


STR, short-term rental, license applications begins today.

The City Council approves short-term rentals in June.

Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman kicked off the process 2 years ago.


This home was listed as a short-term rental, or STR, on Airbnb.

The City and County of Denver today began accepting online applications for the city’s new short-term rental license.

Denver now permits hosts with valid licenses to offer STRs in their primary residences.

STRs are rentals of residential property for fewer than 30 days at a time.

A pre-licensing checklist and application portal are available at

The license is offered exclusively online.

That way, it does not take a trip to the city’s business licensing counter to fill out an application.

The online service for a icense reflects Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s commitment for efficient, easy-to-use tools.

It’s the city’s first online business license.

Denver apparently is the first city in the nation to offer an online STR license.

“From our very first discussion about STR regulations, our goal has been to create a licensing structure that is easy to understand and reflects the tech-savvy nature of STR users,” said Stacie Loucks, the executive director of Denver’s Excise & Licenses department.

“This new online application offers a simple and effective way for hosts to get licensed and be in compliance with the city’s new STR ordinance,” Loucks said

All STR hosts in Denver must be licensed by the city by Dec. 31.

Hosts may now begin the licensing process at, which also includes recommendations for ensuring compliance once licensed.

Denver Excise & Licenses is also forming a Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee to help the department study, analyze and asses the STR license program and to recommend changes, if necessary. The committee will hold its first meeting in late summer or early fall. A call for applications will be announced this month.

The Denver City Council on June 13 passed the STR measure. The issue had been under discussion for the past two years. City Councilmen Kevin Flynn and Rafael Espinoza voted against the measure.

City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman initially raised the issue.

Denver’s departments of Excise and Licenses and Community Planning and Development proposed a new citywide licensing and enforcement system.

The goal is to allow short-term rentals, while limiting unwanted effects on Denver’s residential neighborhoods.

Some citizens wanted short-term rentals to be expanded to second homes and investment homes. Others worried that would bring the equivalent of hotels in quiet, residential neighborhoods.

There are an estimated 2,000 short-term rentals in Denver on sites such as Airbnb and VRBO. Some owners advertise their properties as being “420,” or marijuana, friendly.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.


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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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