Steps to Compliance as Part of Full Rental License Approval

Below is an overview of the SmartRegs compliance process. After reviewing the flowchart, review the steps of the process in the instructions below.

SmartRegs process and flowchart

Steps to Compliance

Is the property licensed?

You can confirm whether a rental license is currently active for a specific property by inquiring with the rental housing licensing office. Submit a message including the address(es) for which you would like to confirm whether or not a rental license is active.

  • Note: If you are purchasing a property that already has a rental license please be aware that rental licenses do NOT transfer from one owner to another. Once property ownership has been transferred to you, it is required that a new license be issued before you can use the property as a rental. However, SmartRegs compliance DOES transfer when ownership changes.
  1. If the property has an active rental license

    If the property has an active rental license it means that the property is SmartRegs compliant.

    Please make note of the expiration date of the license. Plan ahead and make sure to renew the license before the expiration date if the property will continue to be used as a rental.

    Also, please keep your contact information up-to-date with the City of Boulder rental housing licensing office. This will allow the city to keep you informed about changes to rental license requirements and processes. You can send your updated contact information to the rental licensing department via Submit Question or Feedback.

  2. If the property does not have an active rental license

    Because the property does not have an active rental license you'll need to submit an application. See the Rental Housing Licensing Guide to access information about the application process.

    Keep in mind that receiving a rental license requires SmartRegs compliance unless a standard exemption applies. Move forward to the next step (2) to see if a standard exemption applies.

Review Standard Exemptions

If you believe that one of the standard SmartRegs exemptions listed below applies to your rental property please confirm this with the rental licensing department, and be prepared to provide documentation as proof that an exemption is applicable.

  1. Scope Exceptions
    1. Buildings that can be verified as meeting/exceeding the energy efficiency requirements of the Energy Conservation andInsulation Code, Chapter 10-7, B.R.C. 1981. Typically buildings with certificate of occupancy issued after July 2001.
    2. Any manufactured home.
    3. Accessory Dwelling Units and Attached Owner Accessory Units as detailed in section 9-6-3, “Specific Use Standards Residential Uses.” B.R.C. 1981.
  2. Compliance Exceptions
    1. Equivalent Performance: Buildings achieving equivalent energy efficiency performance through the use of innovative materials, methods and/or equipment in accordance with the requirements of the ordinance. The code official will determine the relative values and effectiveness of innovative materials,methods and/or equipment in satisfying the intent and purpose of this code.
    2. Historic Buildings: Upon a finding by the code official that the application of this section requires an exterior alteration to an individual landmark or a contributing building within an historic district established under chapter 9-11, “Historic Preservation,” B.R.C. 1981, reasonable modifications in the award of prescriptive and performance points of this appendix that would not be eligible for a Landmark Alteration Certificate.
    3. Affordable Housing: Rental dwelling units meeting the requirements for a permanently affordable unit, as follows:
      1. Units weatherized after September 1994 according to state or federal subsidy program standards;
      2. Units eligible for weatherization according to state or federal subsidy program standards that have applied for weatherization services: These units can be awarded an extension of one rental license cycle to reach compliance. The code official may approve additional time to achieve compliance if one rental license cycle is deemed to not be adequate;
      3. Units not qualifying for weatherization according to state or federal subsidy programs: an exception for one rental license cycle to achieve compliance. The code official may approve additional time to achieve compliance if one rental license cycle is deemed to not be adequate.

SmartRegs Compliance Pathways

For properties that do not fit either the Scope Exceptions or Compliance Exceptions above, there are two compliance pathways.

  1. Prescriptive Pathway

    The prescriptive path involves an inspection to be completed by a trained and certified Rental Energy Efficiency Inspector (City of Boulder Class "G" license). To meet the requirements, each unit must achieve 100 energy efficiency points in addition to 2 water conservation points.

    The prescriptive path has been chosen 98% of time by property owners to achieve compliance.

  2. Performance Pathway

    The performance path requires a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 120 or less. The HERS index will be used for the verification of energy performance. A HERS rating shall be performed by a rater accredited by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

    This path typically makes the most sense only for multi-unit rental properties that have an apartment-complex design.

If improvements are needed

If an inspection or HERS rating has revealed that a rental property is not SmartRegs compliant then you'll need to make improvements to the property until a passing score is obtained.

Technically Impractical Consideration

If you have completed all of the possible improvements, but the rental property has not reached compliance then you can pursue a special consideration called Technically Impractical.

Submit questions or feedback

Contact Rental Housing Licensing - SmartRegs