Short-Term Rental (STR) License


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 This first ordinance was repealed and reenacted with additional regulations as part of Title 3 Business Regulations in Ordinance 25-2021(PDF, 12MB) in October 2021, which effectively prohibits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.

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.

Before You Apply

Step 1.Is your property in the Littleton city limits?

Not all Littleton street addresses are in the city limits. Check the Littleton Address Wizard and/or the Littleton City Limits map to make sure the property address is within Littleton's city boundaries. If it is not in the city limits, contact the local jurisdiction and follow their STR licensing process.

Step 2.Do I need a Short-Term Rental (STR) License?

If you rent a property to guests for 1-28 days at one time, a short-term rental license is required. If you are not the property owner, you will need permission from the property owner to operate short-term rentals there. If you only rent for 29+ days at a time, no license is required. This must be included in the booking calendar of any online advertisement.

Step 3.Read the laws, rules and regulations

We recommend that all short-term rental applicants start their application by downloading the Good Neighbor Owner Handout and Guest Guidelines located on the right side of this page. Read through the license requirements and the available FAQs.

  • For any additional questions regarding collection of sales and use tax or issuance of Littleton Sales and Use Tax ID, contact the Finance Department at 303-795-3768 or 202-795-3956.
  • Questions regarding enforcement of short-term rental laws should contact the Code Enforcement Division at 303-795-3831.
  • Any questions about zoning restrictions, or difficulties with eTRAKiT should contact the Planning Division at 303-734-8076.
  • All may be reached via email at STR@littletongov.org.

Step 4.License Requirements and Restrictions

  • All short-term rentals must be licensed
  • All advertisements for short-term rentals must display the host's business license number
  • Two types of STR licenses - Primary Residence and Non-Primary Residence (renewals only)
  • STRs are not permitted in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • Littleton has a limit of 2 STR renters per bedroom, with 8 renters per property maximum
  • Short-term rentals shall provide (2) off-street parking spaces
  • Each STR must display the Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines and mail adjacent properties a Good Neighbor Owner Handout
  • See additional requirements under Owner Requirements

Step 5.Required Documents and Fees

All Short-Term Rental License Applications must include:

  • A copy of your Colorado Driver's License or Colorado Identification Card
  • Liability Insurance declaration page showing no less than $500,000 of coverage
  • Completed Property Inspection Checklist(PDF, 241KB)
  • Proof of Posting Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines(PDF, 652KB) in Unit (see page 2 of document)
  • Partially Completed Good Neighbor Owner Handout(PDF, 652KB) with List of Addresses for Delivery and Emergency Contact Information that Owner will send out/deliver to neighbors after license number is issued
  • Proof of Ownership
  • At least two of the following documents are required:
    • Proof of valid motor vehicle registration;
    • Proof of voter registration;
    • Federal or state tax returns or other Finance documentation;
    • A utility bill; or
    • A mortgage statement.
  • $200 License Fee

Step 6.Start your online application!

(eTRAKiT Help Guide; see specific STR eTRAKiT How-To Document)

Please Note: Over-the-counter payments are not accepted at this time. The application process may take up to four weeks for completion.

Once You Have Your License

Owner Requirements

  • Fill in STR business license number at bottom of page and deliver/mail Good Neighbor Owner Handout to adjacent properties
  • Example:

License number

Good Neighbor Letter Snip

  • Post Good Neighbor Guest Guidelines in a visible place at your property for your guests

Good Neighbor Guidelines Snip

  • STR licensees must complete a STR Owner Inspection Checklist
    • 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(PDF, 241KB) 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.
  • STR Licenses expire annually
    • It is unlawful to advertise or operate a short-term rental with an expired license. Renewal applications must be filed online with Finance Department before a license expires.
  • STR licensees are required to pay taxes and you must submit your required filings on time.
  • STR licensees must maintain liability insurance
    • The liability insurance must be at least $500,000 and covers the use of the property as a short-term rental at all times (or only list the short-term rental through hosting platforms that provide this as part of their service agreement.)
  • Each STR is required to keep their contact information up to date
    • If a licensee or property manager's contact information changes, please contact STR@littletongov.org to start this process through our Finance Department.
  • STRs are required to post their STR License Number on any Advertisements
    • It is unlawful to advertise a short-term rental without the license number clearly displayed on the face of the advertisement. See FAQs for additional information.

FAQ's

Short-Term Rental Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Q: What does the ordinance require?

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.

Q: What is the difference between a primary residence and a non-primary residence?

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.

Q: Are there different types of short-term rental licenses

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.

Q: How is the license applied for and is there a fee?

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.

Q: How long is the license valid and can it be revoked?

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.

Q: What happens if a license has not been obtained?

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.

Q: Why is a property inspection required?

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(PDF, 241KB) 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.

Q: How many renters can occupy the dwelling?

A: The maximum number of occupants in the dwelling is eight (8), with a maximum of two (2) per bedroom.

Q: How many parking spaces are required?

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.

Q: Are short-term rentals ever prohibited?

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.

Q: What is the Good Neighbor Owner Handout and Guest Guidelines?

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(PDF, 652KB).

Q: Who do I contact in case of an emergency or issues?

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.

Q: Is there a sales or lodging tax for short-term rentals?

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.

Q: Are there any requirements from the City when advertising for my short-term rental?

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.

 

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.
  • 24/7 Short-Term Rental Compliance Hotline, call 720-310-2171 or visit the STR Hotline Tips Webform.

For a list of common violations, see the Code Enforcement & Property Maintenance Brochure(PDF, 911KB).