What is the City of Denver’s new rental inspection policy?

“The Healthy Residential Rentals for All” is a residential rental license program intended to ensure minimum housing standards are met in rental housing.

Who needs a license?

A license is required for any person to offer or operate a residential rental property in the City of Denver including multi-family and single-family properties.

Am I Single-Family or Multi-Family?

A multi-family property is defined as owning 2 or more rental units at any one address. Examples include apartment buildings, rowhomes, duplexes, and condominiums.

When is the deadline for a license?

All multi-family rental properties must be licensed by January 1st, 2023.
All single-family rental properties must be licensed by January 1st, 2024.

How do I obtain a license?

To obtain a license, an inspection is required by a certified inspector. All inspectors must be certified by ASHI, INTERNACHI, or CMI and ICC. There are a limited number of certified inspectors who meet these qualifications.

Do all my rental units require inspection?

Rentals with 2 or more units on a parcel must have 10% of the units inspected at random. If less than 10 units then only 1 unit must be inspected. A random-number generator is used to choose which units will be inspected.
The City of Denver requires that all below grade/basement units must be inspected regardless of which units were randomly selected. Below grade units will be inspected to check for leaks on the floors and walls and to check for dual egress. All basement unit bedrooms must have an egress window measuring at least 5.7 sq. ft.

What is “Egress”?

Egress is another word for “exit” and is used to refer to the means by which someone can safely exit a unit.

What items will be inspected?

The inspection verifies if a property is compliant based on Denver’s “Residential Rental Inspection Checklist." This consists of a 26-item checklist meant to determine habitability. Please use these links to access the Residential Rental Inspection Checklist and the Residential Rental Inspection Guidebook.

Do I need a GFCI in every bathroom?

All bathrooms should have at least one GFCI electrical outlet. However, if the outlet in the bathroom is tied to a master GFCI then it’s compliant.

Do I need a smoke detector in every bedroom?

At least one smoke detector should be located inside each bedroom. Additionally, a smoke detector should be located outside each bedroom (a single detector may cover multiple bedroom entrances if the detector is within 15 ft of each entrance).

Do I need a fire extinguisher in every rental unit?

Every multi-family facility must have a fire extinguisher located within 75 feet of every unit entrance or one fire extinguisher must be in each unit.

Do I need a fire rated furnace room door?

Only areas within a basement used for habitable purposes need to be separated from any furnace room by at least 1-hour fire resistive material door.

Will I need a test for lead-based paint?

There is a lead hazard if there is deteriorated, lead-based paint in the interior or exterior of a unit or structure constructed prior to 1979. If peeling paint is observed inside and the surface area is larger than 6 sq ft, a test for lead-based paint is required.

What if my property is deemed noncompliant?

If noncompliant items were identified during inspection and they are immediately fixable, a property owner/manager can immediately correct the issue deeming it compliant.
Property items deemed non compliant must be corrected before seeking a partial reinspection. The re inspection must be done within 90 days of the original inspection, or the original inspection will be invalidated, and a new full inspection will be required.

Can I send a picture as proof of a fix for reinspection?

No. A certified inspector must complete an in person partial reinspection to confirm that the items have been brought into compliance.

Where do I apply for a license?

Applications for a license can be found at Denvergov.org. Please use this link.

What is the cost of a license?

The license fee is based on the number of total units being rented on a parcel. The fees are as follows:
1 unit $50, 2-10 units $100, 11-50 units $250, 51-250 units $350, and above 250 units $500.

How often does the City of Denver require that I get a license for my rental property?

The license is renewable every 4 years unless ownership changes.

Is any property exempt from inspections?

There is an exemption for inspections for newly built properties less than 4 years old.
Important things to know :-
     1. Property owners/managers can submit an application for a license with their noncompliant inspection checklist within 90 days of the original inspection. You will then have 90 days from the date of your application to submit a passing reinspection form.
     2. Please note that if more than 90 days pass between an initial inspection and the application for a license, the original inspection will be invalidated and a new, full inspection will be required.
©2023 Colorado Complete Inspections (CCI)
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