Long-Term Rental Licensing & Inspections

The Rental License code provides for comprehensive enforcement of Property Maintenance Code and other requirements under the Boulder Revised code for rented accommodations. Obtaining a rental license is the responsibility of the property owner. The discovery of an unlicensed rental property will result in legal action.

Licensing 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 establishes minimum standards for the use and safe occupancy of dwellings to protect, preserve and promote the physical and mental health of its residents.

Rental licenses are not required under the following circumstances. These exemptions do not apply to short-term rentals.

If your property meets this criteria, submit a Rental License Exemption Affidavit - Owner/Relative Occupied.

  • A dwelling unit occupied by the owner (or members of the owner's family who are at least 21 yrs of age) who rents to no more than two people unrelated to the owner's family

If your property meets all of these criteria, submit a Rental License Exemption Affidavit - Temporary Rental

  • The dwelling unit is the owner's principal residence
  • The dwelling unit is temporarily rented for no longer than 12 consecutive months in any 24-month period
  • The dwelling unit was occupied by the owner immediately prior to its rental
  • The owner is temporarily living outside of Boulder County
  • The owner intends to reoccupy the dwelling

Yes. Rental licenses are required for all properties offered for rent and, in addition to inspection for licensing, city staff may inspect the ADU for other approval criteria.

Only property owners who do not reside in Boulder County are required to have a local agent. The local agent is designated by the owner, provides a contact person for the property, and must be able to respond to the property within 60 minutes.

Yes, however, please consider that tenants frequently change and it is the owner's responsibility to keep the city informed of a new agent.

Submit the Rental Licensing Change of Information or Agent form with your changes.

Yes. The Reduced Term Rental License code allows the term of a rental license to be reduced to 12 months when there is a violation of the land use or to 24 months for violations of the Housing Code.

Single-family homes seeking a rental license certify compliance through a rental inspection. Multi-unit dwellings are required to submit a Lighting Certification 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.

The SmartRegs ordinances require all rental housing to meet a basic energy efficiency standard.

See if a Property is Licensed

Customer Self-Service Portal

  • Customers can access the city's permitting, licensing and land management system to view rental license information by going to Customer Self-Service (CSS) portal
  • You may search as a guest or create a CSS account
  • For questions on how to set up an account, please review the user guide

Interactive map

  • To obtain a report of licensed residential rental properties on a specific parcel, go to the Licensed Residential Rental Properties Map (opens in a new window)
  • You can search the map by address
  • The map will zoom into the parcel
  • Click on the highlighted parcel and License Information link to view the report
  • Rental property information is viewable for fully licensed rental properties
  • Licenses in progress, expired or closed are not viewable

Open Data Rental Housing Property List

  • The Rental Housing Property List contains all residential rental properties that are currently licensed.
  • This list updates daily and is part of our Open Data catalog for public use.
  • You can download the list of over 10,000 licensed properties to sort and search by many categories such as address, sub-community, occupancy limits and dwelling count.

Apply for a Standard Long-Term Rental License or Renew a Current License

Fill out an application form

Standard Long-Term rentals are rentals of 30 days or more at a time.

Please note :

Submit your application

Set-up a Rental Inspection

Check the criteria

All of the criteria for rental inspections is available in the Rental Housing License Handbook and SmartRegs Handbook found in the Applications & Forms database.

  1. A rental inspection is required to:
    • License a standard, or long-term, rental property;
    • Renew a license; or
    • Apply for a new license when ownership has changed.
  2. A SmartRegs certification is required for:

Contact a certified inspector

A Rental Inspection is needed for:

  • A rental property that has never been licensed before;
  • A rental property whose previous license has expired; and
  • A transfer of ownership.

Rental inspection compliance verification forms must be completed and signed by a licensed inspector.

Inspections are done by private inspection companies. Re-inspections may be required if there are items to be repaired. If the property is in compliance, the inspector will inform you at the inspection site and will provide a signed inspection compliance verification form.

Charges for the inspection depend on the policies of the licensed rental housing inspector that you have contracted with. Prices vary - please compare prices between companies.

The Rental Inspection consists of four parts:

  • General Life Safety Requirements;
  • Plumbing Facilities and Fixture Requirements;
  • Mechanical and Electrical Requirements; and
  • Fire Safety Requirements.

If you are unable to complete the required inspections by your expiration/due date, please contact us at RHL@bouldercolorado.gov with an extension request and provide details of your situation.

Yes, inspections are considered current if they were performed within the last 12 months and are submitted within 90 days past license expiration.

A contractor licensed in the City of Boulder can assist you with determining the cost and extent of the repair work.

The city is not a party to the contract so is not involved in setting the fee. It is up to the property owner to hire a licensed inspector and negotiate a price for the service.

Visit the Contractor Licensing page to learn more.

Find the Occupancy Limit

What is my occupancy limit?

Ordinance 8585, effective Sept. 18, 2023, increased the number of unrelated people per dwelling unit (house, apartment, condo unit etc.) to five, with a few exceptions:

  • Efficiency living units (ELUs – Units that are no larger than 475 square feet) occupancy limit is three.
  • Three persons and any of their children and any of their children by blood, marriage, guardianship, including foster children or adoption.
  • Accessory dwelling units, cooperative housing units, and other institutional uses have occupancy limits determined through individual use approvals.
  • When determined by life safety standards that a lower occupancy is necessary.
  • When a property has an approved non-conforming use approved prior to ordinance 8585, the pre-determined occupancy limit remains in effect.

Search by property address

Ordinance 8585 simplifies and increases occupancy limits for the majority of Boulder properties. There are some properties that were granted non-conforming use approval before the current occupancy limits. These properties retain their existing non-conforming status and do not receive the increased occupancy limit. Existing non-conforming status on a rental property can be viewed on the interactive rental license map.

  1. Interactive map
    • Go to the interactive map, and zoom in to the property or search by property address.
    • 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.
  2. Rental housing licenses list
    • Go to the opendata listing of rental housing licenses
    • Search, or filter the list to find your property
    • Note that you can scroll to the right to find the Maximum Unrelated Occupants
    • You can download the list as a spreadsheet to make it easier to perform a search

Occupancy Limits

Owners of rental dwellings in Boulder must inform current and potential tenants about the maximum number of unrelated individuals allowed to live in their units.

The key provisions of the ordinance are:

  • Only properties with less than five dwelling units are required to post the sign conspicuously inside the main entrance to each dwelling unit
  • The occupancy sign only needs to be posted when showing the unit to a prospective renter
  • The sign should list a maximum occupancy no greater than the city’s maximum unrelated occupants under Section 9-8-5 B.R.C. 1981 and the posted limit can be smaller than that allowed by Section 9-8-5
  • All advertisements for rentals should list a maximum occupancy no greater than the city’s maximum unrelated occupants under Section 9-8-5 B.R.C. 1981 and the advertised limit can be smaller than that allowed by Section 9-8-5

Advertisements for rental units also must state the maximum number of unrelated occupants.

Property owners, managers and tenants are responsible for knowing the allowed legal occupancy. Property owners can limit the number of occupants to fewer people than their designation allows.

Occupancy Sign Sample

Report a Rental License Violation


  • Call:


  • If tenants feel the property does not meet the existing and/or new requirements, they are encouraged to contact their landlord to address concerns.
  • Tenants can also work with the city's Community Mediation Program, to act as an intermediary between them and their landlord.
  • Community Mediation can be reached at 303-441-4364.
  • Tenants that attend the University of Colorado can also find tenant-landlord resources at the office of Off Campus Student Services.
  • If desired results are not achieved with the above actions, tenants can file a complaint via the methods listed above.