Worried About Denver’s Proposed Rules For Airbnb, VRBO? Sound Off Tonight

February 3, 2016

Got something to say about Airbnb and VRBO in Denver? Your chance to be heard starts Wednesday night when the City Council holds its first of four neighborhood meetings to gauge public sentiment on short-term rentals in the city.

Up for debate is a proposed ordinance that would formally legalize short-term rentals, which are currently illegal (though there's about 2,000 across the city). The ordinance would require short-term landlords to register with the city, collect lodging tax, and keep a rental up to certain safety standards.

Before you sound off, read up on the issue:

The most controversial provision of the ordinance would also ban hosts from renting a property that isn't their primary residence.

A data-heavy report by CPR News last year shows that most Airbnb hosts rent out only one unit. That suggests that the primary residency rule wouldn't affect most short-term landlords -- at least on that platform. Owners of vacation rentals, which are more often listed on VRBO, would have more to lose.

"[It] would effectively shutter mom-and-pop businesses in Denver," Shahla Hebets of the Denver Short Term Alliance, told a council committee in January. 

On the other hand, neighborhood groups say the provision is essential to protect affordable housing and neighborhood integrity.

The council is expected to decide on the ordinance by May.

If you go: 

  •  Feb. 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – South High School,  1700 E. Louisiana  Ave.
  •  Feb. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – East High School,  1600 City Park  Esplanade
  •  Feb. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – North High School,  2960 Speer Blvd.
  •  Feb. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Christ Church  United Methodist, 690  Colorado Blvd.