Denver’s rental property license application window opening

License applications must be submitted to the city of Denver by owners of multifamily properties by Jan. 1, 2023. (Eric Heinz photo)

Landlords will soon be required to get a license for rental properties within Denver, and the application window opens Thursday.

License applications must be submitted by owners of multifamily properties by Jan. 1, 2023, and by single-unit property owners by Jan. 1, 2024. Landlords will be able to file their applications on the city’s website for residential rental properties.

Licenses will be good for four years, and are specific to a single property, meaning landlords that own multiple rental properties will need to obtain multiple licenses.

The city estimates there are 42,000 properties that will need licenses, said Eric Escudero, a spokesman for Denver’s Excise and Licenses Department. It will be the largest single licensing program in the city, and the largest expansion of required licensing in Denver’s history.

The cost of a license will be $50 for single-unit houses, and up to $500 for properties with 250 or more units.

It also costs $50 to submit an application, although landlords who apply before the start of their respective required licensing year will receive a $25 discount on the application fee.

The fees do not cover the cost of inspections, which will be required for all properties that are more than three years old.

Those must be done by a third party, and a checklist of standards for inspections is now available on the city’s website, along with a directory of qualified inspectors. Much of the criteria addresses minimum living standards as defined by Denver City Code, Escudero said.

The licensing program was approved unanimously by the Denver City Council last May. Prior to the vote, Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, who spearheaded the measure, said Denver receives more than 1,000 complaints each year from tenants about mold, faulty electricity and other problems, and that the licensing program was intended to address those issues.

The licensing proposal received pushback from industry groups such as the Colorado Apartment Association and Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

Julie Smith, a spokeswoman for the Department of Finance, told BusinessDen in December the city expects to bring in $1,283,700 just from the early applications period in 2022.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the difference between the license fee and the application fee.

Denver’s rental property license application window opening