Denver Passes Law Requiring Rental Housing Inspections, Landlord Licenses

Denver Passes Law Requiring Rental Housing Inspections, Landlord Licenses

The Denver City Council has passed a law requiring rental-housing inspections and licenses for landlords beginning next year, according to reports.

Rental housing inspections will be required every four years. Before receiving a license, landlords must have their properties examined by certified inspectors, according to the measure. At least 10 percent of a property’s units must be inspected at random, according to the new rules.

Landlords can apply for early licenses starting next year. Landlords renting two or more units on a single property, like apartments and row homes, must obtain licenses by Jan. 1, 2023; it’s a year later for landlords who rent living spaces like homes or accessory dwelling units.

The application fee will be $50, and licensing fees will range from $50 for single units to $500 for properties with more than 250 units, the measure said. Landlords must renew their licenses every four years, paired with new inspections.

The Denver Post reported that as the council considered the new law in recent weeks, renters voiced concerns that requiring the licenses for an estimated 54,000 homes, condos, row houses and apartment complexes will increase their rents, while landlords complained of additional red tape that will impede business and lead to costly repairs.

Denver City Council President Stacie Gilmore said a phased approach was put in place to avoid a “bottleneck” of licensees coming in at once and overwhelming the department.

The new law will also create a database of landlords and their properties, Gilmore said. This will enable city officials to track available housing stock and communicate with property owners and tenants about rental- and utility- assistance efforts.

Officials will be able to fine problematic landlords, and suspend or revoke licenses. If the latter two happen, Gilmore said tenants would still be allowed to stay in place through the end of their leases.

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