BY FREDA MIKLIN
City officials in Greenwood Village have received complaints about short-term Airbnb-type renters in single-family neighborhoods. No similar complaints have come from apartments or any of the other multi-family areas in the city. An investigation revealed there are around 40 single-family homes in GV being used for Airbnb-type rentals and that “79 percent of those rent only one or two rooms, most only one.” Unhappy callers said that short-term renters were provided gate access in a gated community, access to private swimming pools and that guests were provided marijuana and/or allowed to smoke marijuana on the back patio.
To combat this problem, April 1 the GV City Council passed a new law that prohibits investors from using homes in GV as Airbnbs. It allows only one’s primary residence to be used for short-term rentals and it is explicit in defining what constitutes a primary residence. Even though homeowners who rent their homes this way are required to get a lodger’s tax license typically used for a hotel, city law prohibiting more than three unrelated adults living in one single-family home applies to the short-term rental. There was no discussion about how this rule could be enforced. Homeowners who use their primary residence for short-term rentals are also be required to get a sales tax license so that they can collect and remit both sales and lodging taxes to the city.
The city will also ask homeowners who apply for a lodger’s tax license under this law for proof that their homeowner’s association has approved the use of their property for short-term rentals, though it admits it has no legal jurisdiction or enforcement authority over the relationship between a property owner and their homeowner’s association.
Introduced by City Council Member George Lantz, currently serving as mayor pro tem, the new law passed unanimously on first reading April 1. A public hearing was held, but no one testified from the public and no member of the city council said anything about the new law before voting on it. Like many laws and policies, all the discussion on this subject was held in previous city council study sessions held at 6 p.m. in the GV community room before every official Monday night meeting but are sparsely attended. Unless anyone questions it, the law will become final at city council’s next meeting April 15 and take effect shortly thereafter. The complete text of the law can be found on page 21 of the April 4 edition of The Villager.
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