Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Denver City Council approves rental license

Residential house decorated for Halloween holiday.

The Denver City Council on May 3 passed the “Healthy Residential Rentals for All” legislation requiring all rental properties to obtain a license and inspection to ensure rental units are complying with Denver’s minimum housing standards.

“Often, the most vulnerable tenants do not complain about their living situations for a number of reasons including fear of retaliation, living without a lease or not knowing they have a right to a safe and livable housing,” said Council President Stacie Gilmore, the bill’s sponsor. “We are finally taking the burden off our tenants to ensure compliance and providing a more equitable, prevention-based approach to quality housing.”

The residential rental license requirement is phased and will start Jan. 1, 2022 with an opt-in early licensing for multi-family rental dwellings starting Jan. 1, 2023 and single-family rental dwelling units starting Jan. 1, 2024. Licenses will require a fee and third-party inspection process.

The ordinance also adds additional renter protections starting Jan. 1, 2022 that include:

  • Renters have written leases for all new tenancies exceeding 30 days;
  • Rental owners and operators provide notice of tenant’s rights and resources and provide them again if any rent demand is posted. The information will include how to make a complaint related to minimum housing standards, a statement regarding tenants ’legal rights when receiving a notice to vacate their premises, and how to locate rental assistance and legal service providers.

“Denver has been in a housing crisis for decades, and the pandemic has put even more uncertainties on our residents,” Gilmore said. “This policy will help stabilize housing and neighborhoods by gathering basic property owner information as well as important rental data, enabling us to broadly share resources with tenants, and strengthen landlord-tenant education and outreach.”