Regulating STRs has been a focus of City Council since 2018, and several study sessions have been held for Council to explore various regulation options. Before the ordinance was approved, STRs existed in Wheat Ridge but were completely unregulated and not even mentioned in the City Code. Without any regulations, STRs were challenging for the City to enforce or to shut down offenders. City Council was clear about the creation of an ordinance that allows STRs, but limits how many there can be in the community. The ordinance creates appropriate licensing requirements and puts significant responsibility on STR hosts to be good neighbors. Licensed STRs will also provide revenue to the City in the form of Lodgers’ Tax, starting August 1, 2021.
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A short-term rental (STR) is a dwelling unit, or portion of a dwelling unit, that is used for lodging for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. A Short-Term Rental License is required prior to advertising and renting your property.
Read the entire ordinance
An STR host must be the owner of a property:
Short-term rentals are allowed in both residential and mixed-use commercial zones. Owners of apartments or mixed-use buildings on commercial corridors may be permitted to have additional STRs.
STRs in condos may already be restricted by the Homeowners Association (HOA) or other ownership agreement. If not, the code limits condo developments to four total STRs per development to prevent a large number of condos from being converted into STRs. These details are included in the ordinance (Sec 26-645)
Any owner renting a property for a period of 30 consecutive days or less is required to apply for a Short-Term Rental License. It is the owner(s)’ responsibility to know and comply with all ordinances, resolutions and regulations that apply to short term rentals within the City of Wheat Ridge. A license is required if you are advertising a short term rental, even if no available dates are listed. Rentals that are only for 30 consecutive days or more do not require a license, but the booking calendar must require a 30-night minimum stay.
Yes. A cap on the total number of STRs in each City Council district will take effect on November 1, 2021. This will limit the number of “whole house” STRs in each district to 2% of the total number of dwelling units within that district (in single-family homes, duplexes, and single-family attached townhomes). This cap does not apply to “partial house” STRs or STRs in commercial districts. STRs registered prior to November 1, 2021 will not be affected by the cap unless a license is allowed to lapse.
If the maximum number of STRs for any district is reached, applications will be placed on a waitlist until the number of STRs in that district fall below the number allowed.
The 2% limit was put in place by City Council to reduce the impacts of STRs on neighborhoods and limit the overall number in each district.
Yes. The STR License and visitor emergency information, must all be posted in a conspicuous place within the short-term rental unit at all times. Your STR License PDF can be found in the Business Center by clicking your account name under "Manage Your Account(s)". Your license number must be posted within any rental advertisement, including on any hosting platform.
No. You are only allowed to short-term rent one dwelling unit per license in the City of Wheat Ridge. An owner is allowed to be affiliated with a maximum of one “whole home” rental and one “partial home” rental, but each rental requires its own license, lodging tax reporting, and annual fee.
There is an annual fee of $200.00.
Renting or advertising your home for rent on a short-term basis without a license is in violation of the City of Wheat Ridge’s ordinances and subject to enforcement processes as provided for in City Code Article XIV Section 11-500 and 1-600.
Persons found to be operating a short-term rental without the required license are not eligible to apply for a short-term rental license for one (1) year following the date upon which they are found to be operating.
Yes. Only owners of the property may apply for and operate a STR. A owner may choose to hire a property management company but still must follow all operational requirements as listed in Ordinance 1709, including the monthly reporting of lodging tax. The property management company would be required to have a business license in the City of Wheat Ridge.
No, the City of Wheat Ridge only requires one to obtain a short-term rental license in order to begin advertising and renting the short term rental property.
No, but licensees must certify under penalty of perjury that their short-term rental has a functioning fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, and liability insurance to cover bodily and property damage. Inspection could be required if the Department believes the licensed premises are not compliant with fire, building, or zoning requirements.
The ordinance relies on STR hosts to “be a good neighbor” and has provisions to reduce the impacts of STRs on neighboring properties. Licensed STR hosts are required to notify their neighbors of approved licenses. The STR application also requires an emergency contact that can respond to the property within 60 minutes. The license must be posted within the STR.
If there are complaints regarding an STR operation, Wheat Ridge residents can use the link below to submit a complaint regarding potential violations of the STR ordinance. This is not a tool for generic complaints unrelated to STRs or inquiries about the ordinance.
For issues related to general property maintenance or nuisance and not specifically related to STRs (such as noise, weeds, trash, or illegal parking), please contact WRPD Code Enforcement at 303-235-2926. For emergencies, please call 911.