Navigating a Denver Residential Rental Property License

Date Published: February 20, 2023

If you are a Denver landlord or property manager, you are no doubt aware of the Denver Residential Rental License Program. Residential rental property licenses are now required on all multi-family properties in the city of Denver. And, single family rental licenses will be due by January 1, 2024!

There are several steps necessary to get your Denver rental property licensed. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, but not to worry!

At Scott Rental Inspections, a division of Scott Home Services, LLC, we have extensive experience with the entire process. We are the largest provider of rental license inspections in Boulder, and we were the first company to provide the service under Denver’s new law. In this blog, we will break down all the steps needed in order to acquire a Denver residential rental property license.

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Does the Denver RRP Apply to Me?

The first question you may be asking yourself is: Does this residential rental property license even apply to me? Simply put – if your property is located in the County of Denver, and you offer it for rent for 30 days or more at a time, you must get it licensed. You can verify that your property has a valid Denver address with their tool here:

For a deeper dive into licensing requirements, take a look at “Article VIII” of the Revised Municipal Code of the City and County of Denver, Colorado

The Denver Residential Rental Program (RRP) Guidebook states that “property owners that rent more than 1 unit at a single location (a ‘multi-unit property’) are required to apply for a license by January 1, 2023. Property owners that rent only a single unit at any one location, will be required to apply for a license by January 1, 2024.”

If you own or manage a multi-family unit, you should have applied for a license by now. If not, it’s time to get a move on! In the case of single-family homes, you still have some time. But we suggest starting the process as soon as possible, in order to give yourself ample time.

Residential Rental Property License Inspections

So it turns out you have to get your property licensed. What’s next? It’s time to get an inspection.

The city requires a RRP-certified rental inspector to inspect the property and assess it based on the official Residential Rental Inspection Checklist. To be a certified inspector, the individual needs to hold a valid ICC combo inspector certification and either an ASHI or InterNACHI certification.

While the city of Denver maintains a list of self-reported inspectors, the city is not directly affiliated with any inspection company. Our inspectors hold these certificates, but when you connect with an inspection company for your certificate, you should verify they have the required certifications.

All single-unit properties need to be inspected individually. For, multi-unit properties, the city mandates that 10% of units need to be inspected.

The inspector will evaluate the property based off the required criteria and fill out the checklist accordingly. If any items on the checklist are not up to code, they will be marked as “non-complaint.” Any of these non-compliant items will need to be addressed before the property can become properly licensed.

Home Inspector inspecting a furnace during a Denver residential rental property license inspection

Exceptions to the Inspection

In some instances, a physical inspection can be avoided. Generally, when a government-based inspection occurred recently, you can use this report instead. These instances include the following:

  1. If you have a recent alternate inspection report from a Federal Housing Agency such as an affordable or public housing program.
  2. If the house is new construction and has gotten the final Certificate of Occupancy (CO) within the last 4 years.

Either of these reports can be submitted instead of a qualified inspector’s report. However, 4 years from now, when the license needs to be renewed, you will need to present these documents again. At that point, a CO will likely be too old to accept.

Submitting the Application

Once the inspection is complete, it is now time to submit your Denver residential rental property application. Applications must be submitted within 90 days of the initial inspection. If the application is sent after this 90-day window, the initial inspection will be considered invalid, and a new inspection will be required. So make sure to stay on top of those applications!

We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible after the inspection, even if the inspector noted any non-compliant items on the property which failed the inspection. This is because you will have one year from the date of application to make the necessary repairs to the property if a failed report is submitted.

Ready to apply for your Denver residential rental property license? Apply here!

When you have made the necessary repairs, your inspector must verify that the changes have been made sufficiently. Once verified, the inspector will fill out the re-inspection section of the checklist, which states: “I certify all reinspect items have been resolved.” Then, with the completed inspection report, along with the application, you will be able to acquire your license.

Fee Breakdown

One of the most common questions we get is “How much is this all going to cost?” That is a valid question and we’ve got the answer. There will essentially be four different factors that will contribute to your expenses: inspection fee, application fee, property repair fees, and license fee.

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Inspection Fee

As stated above, a residential rental property license inspection is mandatory and is typically around $195 for a single unit. Inspection prices can vary depending on the inspection company and how many units you have in your portfolio. As stated before, the inspection companies are not directly affiliated with the city and each company can set its own prices.

Scott Rental Inspections provides competitive pricing for single-family and multi-unit properties. Higher volume discounts are available if multiple inspections can be performed on the same day or if there are several units in the same building. Feel free to contact us for more info on our pricing. Or you can schedule a single-unit inspection online. 

Application Fee

The City of Denver currently requires a one-time $50 application fee. Note that single-unit property application fees are reduced to $25 through 2023!

Property Repair Fees

This number can obviously vary from case to case. Your property might be 100% compliant right off the bat, with no need for any corrections. On the other hand, repairs could be needed to bring your property into compliance, which would need to be priced out accordingly.

License Fees

Denver currently breaks down these fees based on the number of units that need licensing, but please confirm fees as applicable for your property here:

  • $50: Single dwelling unit
  • $100: 2 to 10 units
  • $250: 11 to 50 units
  • $350: 51 to 250 units
  • $500: 251 or more units

Need a Residential Rental Property License Inspection?

If you are in need of a rental license for your property or properties, we hope that you will consider Scott Rental Inspections. We have a team of 4 Denver RRP-qualified inspectors, with more in training. We are geared up and ready to help you with your inspection needs.

Our company has also been providing rental license inspections in the city of Boulder for the last 14+ years, which gives us the experience needed to effectively navigate the Denver Residential Rental Program. It is our goal to provide every client with fast, efficient, and professional services, while offering top-notch customer service and support every step of the way.

If you have any more questions or wish to schedule your rental inspection, contact us now! 

Inspecting exterior during a Denver residential rental property license inspection

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About the Author: Chris Kimmel

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.

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