Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman saw the writing on the wall several years ago with short-term rentals. Defined as stays fewer than 30 days, these rentals were becoming increasingly common thanks to online services such as Airbnb and HomeAway. The issue, though, was that short-term rentals were illegal in Denver, so Susman began pushing city council to legalize and regulate the up-and-coming industry. Last summer, she got her way: City council agreed to legalize short-term rentals starting in January 2017. We spoke to Denver residents and professionals who have begun experiencing the potential Susman saw in short-term rentals—sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
The biggest change the law brings is a licensing process, which includes a primary residence clause. This forbids people from renting out second homes or investment properties, and caused the number of short-term rentals in Denver to drop. As of August 22, data from the Denver Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee shows Denver’s short-term rentals have decreased by 652 listings (about 17 percent). But demand has still been high: So far in 2017, more than 200,000 guests have found lodging in Denver through Airbnb—that’s 87 percent of last year’s total—according to Airbnb spokeswoman Jasmine Mora.
Paid For By Susman for City Council