PLANNING & ZONING
On October 12, 2021, Council adopted Ordinance 25, Series 2021 which effectively prohibits the issuance of new short-term rental licenses to "non-primary" or non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. Non-primary short-term rental license holders may renew their licenses, but if the license is revoked or expires, current regulations will apply.
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 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 - currently renewals only). 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 Ordinance 41-2020 regulating short-term rentals and creating requirements that short-term rental licensees must comply with. This first ordinance was repealed and reenacted with additional regulations as part of Title 3 Business Regulations in Ordinance 25-2021 in October 2021.
Important facts on Littleton's short-term rental laws, rules, and regulations:
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
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.
- Non-emergency code violations can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using the Click and Fix app.
- If this is a police issue, use the Police Comments Form or call 303-794-1551.
- 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.
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. Ordinance 25-2021 was adopted in October 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.
For New STR License holders: All new property owners 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.
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.
- A new license can only be obtained for a primary residence:
- SHORT-TERM PRIMARY-RENTAL: shall mean a dwelling unit that is a primary residence of which a portion is leased to one (1) party at a time for periods of less than twenty-eight (28) consecutive days. 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 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.
A: Primary residences are owner occupied. A residence that does not meet this definition or the definition above is considered a non-primary residence.
•PRIMARY RESIDENCE: shall mean the dwelling unit in which a person resides for nine (9) or more months of the calendar year. Under this definition, a person has only one (1) primary residence at a time.
A: There are two types of licenses depending on the use of the property; a Short-Term Primary Rental License (owner occupied and all new licenses) and a Short-Term Non-Primary Rental License (the owner does not reside at the property; currently open to renewals only). Both can be leased to one (1) party at a time for periods of less than twenty-eight (28) consecutive days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A: The maximum number of occupants in the dwelling is eight (8), with a maximum of two (2) per bedroom.
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.
A: The applicant must provide documentation that the applicant is the owner of the dwelling unit and that the dwelling unit is his or her primary residence.Short-term rentals are not allowed in non-primary residences, accessory dwelling units, temporary structures, recreational vehicles, nor where marijuana is cultivated or processed, or products produced. Neighborhoods with homeowner’s associations may have covenants that prohibit short-term rentals.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.