FINANCE
Call: 303-795-3956
Mon-Fri, 8am–5pm
PLANNING & ZONING
Call: 303-734-8076
Mon-Fri, 8am–5pm
CODE ENFORCEMENT
Call: 303-795-3831
Mon-Fri, 7am–4pm
STR@littletongov.org

What is a Short-Term Rental (STR)?

Often facilitated by peer-to-peer websites such as VRBO.com and AirBnB.com, short-term rentals are residential properties available for rent for a period ranging from 1-28 days. The City of Littleton requires hosts to obtain a license in order to offer a short-term rental (STR) in their primary or non-primary residence. 

There are two types of licenses depending on the use of the property; a Short-Term Primary Rental License (owner occupied) and a Short-Term Non-Primary Rental License (the owner does not reside at the property). Both can be leased to one (1) party at a time for periods of less than twenty-eight (28) consecutive days. The term short-term non-primary rental shall not include the rental of a dwelling unit to the former owner immediately following the transfer of ownership of  such dwelling unit and prior to the former owner vacating the dwelling unit.

City of Littleton Short-Term Rentals Laws, Rules and Regulations

In 2020, Littleton City Council adopted an ordinance regulating short-term rentals and creating requirements that short-term rental licensees must comply with. 

 Important facts on Littleton's short-term rental laws, rules, and regulations:

  • All short-term rentals must be licensed

  • All advertisements for short-term rentals must display the host's business license number

  • Two types of STR licenses - Primary Residence and Non-Primary Residence

  • STRs are not permitted in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

  • Littleton has a limit of 2 STR renters per bedroom, with 8 renters per property maximum

  • Short-term rentals shall provide (2) off-street parking spaces

  • Each STR must display the Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines and mail adjacent properties a Good Neighbor Owner Handout

  • See additional requirements under Owner Requirements

 

Additional information on the city's regulations may be reviewed in the Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines, Owner Handout and Instruction Sheet, and Licensing pages.

Short Term Rental Licensing

Complaints

For specific concerns about a short-term rental near you, please first reach out to the property owner through the Good Neighbor Owner Handout. If you are not able to get a response or did not receive the handout, please contact the following after verifying that it is occurring within the Littleton city limits:

  • If this is an emergency or crime in progress, call 911.
  • If this is a police issue, use the Police Comments Form or call 303-794-1551.
  • Non-emergency code violations can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the Click and Fix app.
  • Non-emergency STR code violations or concerns may also be reported by email to STR@littletongov.org or by calling 303-795-3831.

For a list of common violations, see the Code Enforcement & Property Maintenance Brochure.

 


Short-Term Rental Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Short-Term Rental Ordinance 41-2020 was adopted by City Council on November 17, 2020 to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  The ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2021 and current short-term rental licensees must renew their licenses (by applying for a new license) and be in compliance by March 31, 2021.

For Current STR License holders: All current businesses, including property management companies, operating a Short-Term Rental are required to complete a new application to comply with short-term rental requirements. Once you complete the online eTRAKiT application, your new license will include both a Business & Sales/Use Tax License  and a Short-Term Rental License.  This process should be started with enough time to have the process completed by the deadline of March 31, 2021 since the process can take 4 weeks or longer if missing information.  

For New STR License holders: All new businesses, including property management companies, operating a Short-Term Rental are required to complete an application to comply with short-term rental requirements. Once you complete the online eTRAKiT application, your license will include both a Business & Sales/Use Tax License and a Short-Term Rental License.

Q: What does the ordinance require?

A: The ordinance requires the following:

  • Short-Term Rental properties must be licensed with the city of Littleton and the license must be posted in the rental unit.
  • Properties must be inspected and be in compliance with city codes at all times.
  • Limit on number of occupants.
  • Restrictions on where short-term rentals can be.
  • Off street parking spaces must be maintained on the property.
  • Owners must contact all surrounding neighbors to share information and provide the Good Neighbor Handout.
  • Owners must ensure the renters are following Good Neighbor Guidelines at all times. 


Q: How is the license applied for and is there a fee?

A: The STR License may be applied for through the city's online eTRAKiT portal. Instructions for using the portal may be found on the city's eTRAKiT Portal and Help Guides page where there is also a PDF instruction manual that is specific to applying for the STR license on eTRAKiT. All supporting documentation may be attached through the portal and license fee paid there as well. Additional information about license requirements may be found on the Permits and Licenses STR webpage.


Q: How long is the license valid and can it be revoked?

A: The license is valid for one year. A STR license can be revoked or sanctioned, and an application for a new or renewed license can be denied if a short-term rental dwelling unit is found to be adversely affecting the public health, safety, or welfare of the immediate neighborhood in which the property is located. Licenses may also be denied or revoked if a short-term rental property is found to be delinquent if remitting their sales tax. The license can be revoked or suspended for violation of city code or verified complaints pertaining to the operation of the short-term rental.


Q: Are there different types of short-term rental licenses?

A: There are two types of licenses depending on the use of the property; a Short-Term Primary Rental License (owner occupied) and a Short-Term Non-Primary Rental License (the owner does not reside at the property). Both can be leased to one (1) party at a time for periods of less than twenty-eight (28) consecutive days. 


Q: What is the difference between a primary residence and a non-primary residence?

A: The ordinance provided two new definitions for the city to work with:

•SHORT-TERM NON-PRIMARY RENTAL:  shall mean a dwelling unit that is not a primary residence and that is leased, in part or in whole

•SHORT-TERM PRIMARY-RENTAL: shall mean a dwelling unit that is a primary residence of which a portion is leased.

Primary residences are owner occupied. A dwelling unit of a duplex or two-family dwelling, as defined in the Littleton City Code, that is not a primary residence is eligible to be a short-term primary rental and may be licensed as a short-term primary rental if the connected dwelling unit is a primary residence and both dwelling units are located on the same lot.  The term short-term non-primary rental shall not include the rental of a dwelling unit to the former owner immediately following the transfer of ownership of  such dwelling unit and prior to the former owner vacating the dwelling unit.


Q: What happens if a license has not been obtained?

A: The short-term rental cannot be operated without a license. The city may institute any appropriate legal action or proceedings for injunctive or other relief to compel compliance with the requirements of this ordinance.  These proceedings may include a summons to appear in Littleton Municipal Court.


Q: Why is a property inspection required?

A: The property owner is required to inspect the property to ensure code compliance and safety for the public. The owner shall use the inspection form provided by the city and submit the completed, signed form for review and approval. The city may inspect the property to verify compliance and if the inspection is refused the license will be denied.  By signing the inspection form, the owner is certifying the property is in compliance with the code.


Q: How many renters can occupy the dwelling?

A: The maximum number of occupants in the dwelling is eight (8), with a maximum of two (2) per bedroom.


Q: Are short-term rentals ever prohibited?

A: Short-term rentals are not allowed in accessory dwelling units, temporary structures, or recreational vehicles. Neighborhoods with homeowner’s associations may have covenants that prohibit short-term rentals.


Q: How many parking spaces are required?

A: The rental property must have two (2) off street parking spaces that are properly surfaced in accordance with city code. This information is required to be listed in any advertisement or listing.


Q: What is the Good Neighbor Owner Handout and Guest Guidelines?

A: The owner is required to contact all close by neighbors to give out the Good Neighbor Owner Handout, which identifies the short-term rental and includes owner contact information. The Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines document is for occupants and provides emergency contact information as well as rules and guidelines to be a good neighbor.  The document is required to be posted inside the house next to the main entry. These documents are combined with Owner Instructions here.


Q: Who do I contact in case of an emergency or issues?

A: The Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines document is for occupants and provides a 24/7 local emergency contact as well as rules and guidelines to be a good neighbor.  The document is required to be posted inside the house next to the main entry. A Good Neighbor Owner Handout is mailed to all adjacent properties with primary and secondary emergency contact information. For all other complaints, questions, or emergencies, view the Complaints section above.


Q: Is there a sales or lodging tax for short-term rentals?

A: Yes, there is. If you own short-term lodging units, any rental of a unit for less than 30 consecutive days is taxable and you are required to collect and remit sales tax.   Upon completion of a Short-Term Rental Operating License Application, a Littleton Business & Sales/Use Tax License number will be issued for the business.  

Not all third party collectors such as AirBnB, Hotels.com, Bookings.com, Flipkey,  or Vasca collect the city tax if they are not licensed with the City, therefore, property owners are still required to collect and remit those taxes directly to the City. If you use such a platform, please carefully read your contract and make sure they have provided you with a valid City of Littleton Business & Sales/Use Tax License number which can be verified by calling the Finance Department at 303-795-3768 or 303-795-3956.

For Current STR License holders: All current businesses, including property management companies, operating a Short-Term Rental are required to complete a new application to comply with short-term rental requirements. Once you complete the online eTRAKiT application, your new license will include both a Business & Sales/Use Tax License  and a Short-Term Rental License.  This process should be started with enough time to have the process completed by the deadline of March 31, 2021 since the process can take 4 weeks or longer if missing information.  

For New STR License holders: All new businesses, including property management companies, operating a Short-Term Rental are required to complete an application to comply with short-term rental requirements. Once you complete the online eTRAKiT application, your license will include both a Business & Sales/Use Tax License and a Short-Term Rental License.


Q: Are there any requirements from the City when advertising for my short-term rental?

A:  Yes, Short-Term Rental License numbers will be required in advertisements so Permit & Licenses can track and monitor various STR platforms for both licensed and unlicensed STRs being advertised. No personal licensee information will be included in the license number. It is unlawful to post an advertisement for a short-term rental without displaying your Short-Term Rental License Number on ALL online listings.

NOTE: If you use AirBnB, the number should be listed in the "Registration/License Number" field so the number is not blocked by the website.

 

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