Denver to fine Airbnb and other sites $1K per day for booking unlicensed rentals

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DENVER — After years of focusing on hosts, Denver is now going after sites like Airbnb in its effort to ensure compliance with the city’s short-term rental regulations.

Last week the City Council signed off on a change that will, come February, make it illegal for “booking service providers” to receive payment in connection with a booking at an unlicensed rental in Denver.

The providers, which along with Airbnb include competitors like Vrbo, can be fined up to $1,000 per violation per day. Up to this point, only hosts have faced penalties if they lack a license — including fines up to $999 per violation.

Denver began regulating short-term rentals in 2017, requiring hosts to obtain a short-term rental license from the city.

City staff told a council committee earlier this month that enforcement since then has focused on two fronts. First, landlords continue to rent out their homes for stays of 1 to 29 days without a license at all. And second, some individuals have been renting out something that isn’t actually their “primary residence,” as city law requires.

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