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.
- Short-term rentals are properties that are rented for less than 30 days at a time.
- The rental property must be the owner’s principal residence; principal residence is defined as the dwelling unit in which a person resides for more than one half of the year.
- The name on the license must be the same as the name on the deed for the property, the owner must be a natural person, trust, or a nonprofit organization.
- The owner must follow the city’s occupancy limits.
- Once issued, a Short-Term Rental Annual Affidavit and fee must be submitted by the issuance anniversary date to maintain your Short-Term Rental License. If the Annual Affidavit to certify principal residency is not completed, the license will be revoked.
Apply for a Short-Term Rental License
Submit an application
Short-term rentals are properties that are rented for less than 30 days at a time.
- Submit the Rental License Short-Term Application
- Rental License fees are payable on the Customer Self-Service Portal upon notification after your application is processed.
- A Rental License Fee is $190 plus a $25 Business License fee for a new application.
- Properties licensed for short term rentals must certify they are are owner occupied.
Submit your application packet
- Rental license fees are payable on the Customer Self-service Portal, upon notification, after your application is processed.
A rental license fee is $190
- A one-time business license fee of $25 is required with new licenses.
- An annual fee of $20 is required with the Short-Term Annual Affidavit Form.
- For quickest processing, submit an online application
Apply by mail
Mailed applications have a longer processing time due to restricted building access during COVID building closures.Planning and Development Services
c/o Rental Licensing Program
P. O. Box 791
Boulder, CO 80306
Short-term rentals are owner-occupied properties and not required to have inspections. The owner self-certifies the home has smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and possibly other safety equipment.
Short-term rental licenses are issued for a four-year term. The license is no longer valid if the property is sold or if the Short-Term Rental Annual Affidavit to certify principal residency is not completed by the anniversary date.
Once a Short-Term Rental License is issued, a Short-Term Rental Annual Affidavit and fee must be submitted each year by your anniversary date to maintain your Short-Term Rental License. If the Annual Affidavit to certify principal residency is not completed, the license will be Revoked. This Annual Affidavit is not required on the expiration/renewal year for the license.
The renewal process is the same as the first-time application process. You will be required to submit an application and application fee of $190 to the City of Boulder.
When you submit your short-term rental license application, you should include payment for the business license ($25). City staff will review your application and issue a short-term rental license and business license to owners who meet all requirements.
No, unless both the ADU and Short-Term Rental License were legally established prior to Jan. 3, 2019.
There is no limit on the number of days that a residence can be rented in a year given you meet the definition of a principal residence when renting the entire house. An accessory unit may only be rented for up to 120 days in a year (less than 30 days at a time).
Short term rentals of principal dwelling units are as follows:
In P, A, RR, RE and RL zoning districts: a dwelling may be rented to up to three persons or members of a family* plus up to two additional persons. In circumstances where the operator(s) of the short term rental reside in the dwelling, the operator and his/her family members count as a single person - allowing up to two additional persons to occupy the short-term rental.
In MU, RM, RMX, RH, BT, BC, BMS, BR, DT, IS, IG, IM and IMS zoning districts: a dwelling may be rented to up to four persons or members of a family* plus up to two additional persons. In circumstances where the operator(s) of the short-term rental reside in the dwelling, the operator and his/her family members count as a single person- allowing up to three additional persons to occupy the short-term rental.
Your long-term standard rental license will be canceled when you apply for a new short term rental license. Follow the steps to apply for a short term rental license along with certification that the property is your principal residence. A new rental license fee is required when changing your license type.
Your Short-Term Rental License will be canceled when you apply for a new Standard Long-Term Rental Housing License. Follow the steps to apply for a long term standard rental license and the full fee will be required.
Short-term rentals, other than detached owner accessory units, are not required to comply with the city’s SmartRegs/energy efficiency requirements.
This is an illegal use of the property within Boulder city limits. Short term rentals are only allowed in owner occupied properties.
Owners may switch between a short-term and long-term rental license on the same property, if they meet the requirements, submit an application and pay the license fees. Only one type of license, short-term or long-term, may be issued at a time for the property.