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Rental Housing Licensing

Rental Housing Licensing


RHL Home | Standard Long-Term | Short-Term | Occupancy | Rental Inspections

The Planning & Development Services Licensing team has adjusted our process for rental licenses to accommodate social distancing recommendations:

  • NEW! Apply for your long term license using our new online application

  • Short Term Rental Applications are accepted by email at [email protected]
    • An email will be sent after application is processed with information to pay fees online by credit card or e-check
    • Mailed applications have a longer processing time due to limited building access for mail retrieval while offices are closed
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, rental inspection requirements have a 180-day extension
    • To remain in compliance, submit application and fees by license expiration date
    • 180-day extension to submit inspection reports is automatic to accommodate requests of tenants to postpone an inspector entering their home
  • In-home inspections of  occupied rental units are allowed when following proper safety protocols and when access is coordinated between landlords, tenants and inspectors
  • Access your license and pay fees through the     Customer Self-Service Portal


  • The SmartRegs ordinances required all standard long-term rental housing in Boulder to meet a basic energy efficiency standard by Jan. 1, 2019. 
  • Properties must be compliant prior to application submittal for a rental housing license beginning in 2019.
  • Any rental license that expired Dec. 31, 2018, due to SmartRegs non-compliance and/or unpaid program fees will be subject to enforcement action if the property is found to be a rental. 
  • Any rental license that expired Dec. 31, 2018, due to SmartRegs non-compliance will be required to reapply for a rental license, with a complete application packet including current inspection forms, after reaching SmartRegs compliance. All program fees will apply.

Outdoor Lighting Ordinance

Learn how to ensure you are compliant with the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance before your inspection. Single-family homes seeking a rental license certify compliance through a rental inspection. Multi-unit dwellings are required to submit a Lighting Certification pdf to receive a four-year term license. Multi-unit dwellings will receive a one-year reduced term license if certification is not received at application, which will be extended to a full four-year term if certification is submitted within the one-year term.

A Lighting Certification can be completed by an architect, electrical engineer, electrical contractor or lighting consultant.

Licensed Rental Property Report by Parcel

To obtain a report of licensed residential rental properties on a specific parcel, go to the Licensed Residential Rental Properties Map and search by address. The map will zoom into the parcel. Click on the highlighted parcel and License Information link to view the report.

The rental property information is only for fully licensed rental properties. It does not include rental licenses that are in progress, renewal, expired or closed.

Rental Housing Requirements

Tenants, landlords and the city all play a role in the implementation of rental housing requirements.

The city's Boulder Revised Code and Property Maintenance Code require all rental properties in Boulder to maintain a valid rental license. The code also establishes minimum standards for the use and safe occupancy of dwellings to protect, preserve and promote the physical and mental health of its residents.

The Rental License code states that obtaining a rental license is the responsibility of the property owner. The discovery of an unlicensed rental property will result in legal action.

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