The Rental Licenses for all rental properties that do not pass a SmartRegs inspection before the end of 2018 will expire on Dec. 31, 2018. Additionally, until the property reaches SmartRegs compliance, you will not be able to receive or renew a rental license at the start of 2019 or beyond. The discovery of an unlicensed rental property will result in legal action.

Properties with a detached accessory unit are required to pass a SmartRegs inspection. If you have an accessory unit which is attached to your main dwelling you are not required to pass SmartRegs.

  • All rental properties must have a license, which requires SmartRegs compliance
  • Properties continuing to rent without a license will be subject to enforcement including:
    • Civil Penalty for renting without a license:
      • 1 st violation - $150 - $500
      • 2 nd violation - $300 - $750
      • 3 rd violation - $1,000
    • Investigation fees from enforcement staff:
      • Each investigation - $250

Continued non-compliance may result in a court summons, which carries a $250 bond per violation.

The SmartRegs Ordinance does not apply to a short-term rental license, which requires a property to be the owner’s principal residence.

All rental properties in the City of Boulder must pass a SmartRegs Inspection before a rental license application can be approved. Rental properties that had an active license in 2018 needed to have passed the SmartRegs inspection prior to Dec 31, 2018 in order to renew the rental license into 2019.

Rental License

Yes. Some inspectors do both SmartRegs Inspections and the Baseline and Renewal Inspections.

The SmartRegs Inspection is a technical analysis of the energy efficiency of the rental property and a baseline level of efficiency needs to apply for a rental license. The Rental License inspection reviews the basic equipment and facilities associated with rental properties to meet a minimum standard. These include lighting, ventilation and heating; fire safety; the use and amount of space for human occupancy; and the safe and sanitary maintenance of dwellings.

SmartRegs Inspection

No. A SmartRegs Inspection cannot be done if the rental is undergoing retrofits or construction. A SmartRegs Inspector should be consulted to determine whether or not an improvement project poses an obstacle. Wood-burning fireplaces or stoves must be cleaned of all ashes before the assessment occurs. A fireplace or wood stove should be at a cool state during an assessment.

Yes, SmartRegs inspectors are independent contractors. You can choose who you wish to work with for SmartRegs. You will schedule your inspection directly with the inspector of your choice.

No, it is your choice whether you are present during the inspection. However, you do need to coordinate with your inspector who will be meeting them for access to the property. The SmartRegs Inspector will perform a technical analysis of the rental.

No. A duplex is two rental units, as denoted on the rental license, so each unit must have its own SmartRegs Inspection. A SmartRegs Inspection must be done for each unit or home that has a rental license.

Properties that have a HERS Rating of 120 or less do not need a SmartRegs Inspection, but must submit an application with the HERS Rating attached to be considered compliant and receive a certificate of compliance from the City of Boulder.

Inspectors are independent contractors and set their own rates, so you must coordinate directly with your Inspector.

Yes. An energy audit can't be used as a substitute SmartRegs Inspection. Energy audits are done by independent auditors while SmartRegs Inspections are done by Inspectors that have been trained and certified by the City of Boulder. The protocol is similar to other rental inspections that occur.

A blower door test is typically conducted during the SmartRegs Inspection. No person can enter or exit the rental while the test is being conducted. All doors and windows must remain shut during the test.

The SmartRegs Inspector must be able to move freely around the rental. Inspectors will need to access mechanical rooms in order to evaluate the furnace, hot water heater, etc. Crawl spaces and attics will also need to be accessed. Therefore, tenants should not have items obstructing any of these access points. Any type of wood fireplace or wood stove must also have its ashes completely cleaned out. No fire or significant heat is allowed during the SmartRegs Inspection.

When your rental passes a SmartRegs Inspection, the inspector will submit paperwork directly to the City of Boulder indicating that the rental is SmartRegs compliant. No upgrades will need to be made. Ensure you submit a rental housing license application to license your rental property.

Making Improvements

If your rental does not pass the inspection, then upgrades will be required so that the rental passes a follow-up inspection. The free Virtual Advisor is provided to assist you with upgrade decisions once you are ready to pursue the recommended upgrades.

Not necessarily. Enough upgrades have to be made so that you reach 100 points during the next inspection. For example, if the rental scores 80 initially, then you must complete enough upgrades to receive 20 more points.

In October 2017, staff created an application that allows property owners to request an energy efficiency exemption for SmartRegs. This option has been in place since the inception of the program but has now been formalized through an application process. Once the exemption request is submitted, a review team evaluates if the property should be classified as technically impractical for further upgrades to reach SmartRegs compliance.

The technically impractical designation was created to recognize that some rental properties will be unable to meet the full scope (i.e. all 100 points) of the SmartRegs requirements due to challenges that make the improvements infeasible due to either cost or construction issues. Rental property owners must demonstrate that they have exhausted all efforts toward compliance and have achieved all the SmartRegs points that are feasible. Their exemption application should identify and quantify energy efficiency work they have done, describe why the property is still not in full compliance, and provide documentation explaining why additional work is impractical. An example of a property that could be a candidate for this process would be a home that has historic designation and requires insulation upgrades that would be very expensive and disruptive to the space, and not result in significant energy cost savings and/or improvement in the tenant's thermal comfort.

Contact Rental Housing Licensing - SmartRegs