Short-term Rentals in the City of Boulder

Owners are required to obtain a short-term rental license prior to advertising their property for rental. All advertisements must contain the maximum allowed unrelated occupancy as well as the rental housing license (RHL) number issued by the city. Short-term rentals may be rented for less than 30 days at a time.

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.

  • 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.

Please note:

  • 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.
  • Apply online

    • 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

Accommodation Tax information

For information regarding filing short-term rental accommodations tax visit the Boulder Online Tax System, or contact the Tax & Licensing Division at salestax@bouldercolorado.gov.

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.

For business license verification, please contact salestax@bouldercolorado.gov.

All returns must be filed on forms generated through the Boulder Online Tax System. For more information regarding the quarterly accommodations tax or the annual sales and use tax please contact salestax@bouldercolorado.gov.

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.

You can report Rental Housing Licensing Code Violations online or by calling 303-441-1880.

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.