How To Pass A Lakewood Short-Term Rental Inspection
Date Published: September 5, 2023
If you are a property manager or landlord in Lakewood, Colorado, you have likely heard that a new law has been announced pertaining to short-term rental (STR) properties. Set to go into effect on September 1, 2023, this new law will require all STRs to be licensed.
Properties must be assessed by a qualified inspector, and they must meet a list of criteria. Once the STR is deemed compliant, it can then be registered with the city and rented out.
The city of Lakewood determined that licensing was a necessary step in order ensure that short-term rentals are up to minimum safety and habitability standards.
According to the municipal code of the city of Lakewood, “a Short-Term Rental or STR means the rental of any real property, or any portion thereof, for not more than twenty-nine (29) consecutive days, excluding hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, or any other rental of property for habitation purposes.”
Short-term rentals can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from full residences to apartments, ADUs, to individual rooms within a house.
Why Does My STR Need a License?
With the immense popularity of hosting platforms, such as Airbnb.com and VRBO.com, we have seen a significant increase in short-term rentals nationwide. As a result, many municipalities across the country have been implementing licensing laws. Colorado is no exception, with cities such as Denver, Boulder and Longmont considering or implementing some form of licensing. Some jurisdictions require inspections, some do not.
As stated above, the primary reason for the Lakewood short-term rental license, is to ensure that a property is a safe space to inhabit. Additionally, licensing also serves to control the amount of STRs that are popping up in a given area.
What Can I Expect at an STR License Inspection?
In order to acquire a license, the city of Lakewood requires an ASHI-certified inspector to assess the premise to make sure it is compliant with a list of items. The city clerk’s office provides a checklist (shown below) that must be filled out and signed by your inspector.
Checklist used for Lakewood short-term rental inspections.
All items required on the checklist are as follows:
An up-to-date fire extinguisher must be located on each floor of the dwelling.
Operable carbon monoxide detectors must be in each bedroom of the dwelling.
Each floor of the STR must have an operable smoke detector.
If the STR has living/sleeping areas in the basement, they must be equipped with sufficient means of egress.
If any items are found to be noncompliant at the time of inspection, the landlord will have to make the necessary corrections and then show the inspector proof of compliance. Once the report is successfully completed, you can then send it off to the county clerk with the official application, which can be found here.Note: according to municipal code of the city of Lakewood, the inspection report must be completed within 30 days of the application.
How Do I Apply For My STR License?
So you have successfully completed your inspection and you have your completed report – what’s next? You will now have to send an application to the city clerk’s office. The city establishes the list of all necessary documentation in section 5.55.030 of the municipal code.
It is quite an extensive list, and the city will not accept applications unless all documentation is accounted for. So make sure to read through all the requirements carefully.
Are you in need of a rental inspection for your Lakewood STR? We have a team of experienced, ASHI-certified specialists who can help you meet your inspection needs in a timely, efficient, and professional manner. We are here to help you ensure that your property is safe, certified and ready to rent!
Chris Kimmel worked as an Associate Home Inspector for two years, handling numerous services including sewer scope inspections, pest inspections, mold air sample testing, radon testing, and water quality testing. Chris now works with Scott Home Inspection as a Content Writing Specialist.