Denver wants to extend its housing-crisis help program

High density housing in downtown Denver. (EntropyWorkshop, iStock)

Two Denver Realtors will go on trial in April for allegedly violating the terms of the city's short-term rental law.

Denverite reports that Stacy and Alexander Neir, who are married, are two of four people charged with failing to live at a short-term rental property as their primary residence. The Neirs are alleged to have falsely filled out notarized statements to obtain short-term rental licenses. 

“This prevents investors from purchasing housing that would otherwise be used for normal, long-term residential purposes, thereby decreasing the housing supply and inflating prices,” said Katherine O’Connor, an analyst for the city.

Among Denver’s four pages of rules governing short-term rentals are the requirements to maintain liability insurance, inform the homeowners association (if applicable), and not operate “in a manner that adversely affects the public health, safety, or welfare of the immediate neighborhood in which the property is located.”

The city has mandated licenses to operate short-term rentals since Jan. 2017. They cost $25, plus the owner must pay applicable taxes. 

The Neirs’ lawyer argues that their actions should not qualify as a felony and “we wouldn’t mind avoiding a trial with a very lenient plea bargain.”

Denver had nearly 2,700 active short-term rental licenses as of July.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School estimates that Aribnb has over five million listings in 191 countries, second only to Booking Homes with 5.6 million.

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