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April 10, 2024

Airbnb & Short Term Rental Laws and Regulations In Aurora - 2024

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Understanding Airbnb and Short-Term Rental Regulations in Aurora

Aurora, Colorado, has specific regulations that encompass Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. Those wishing to host on these platforms must recognize the legal landscape to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Firstly, any short-term rental in Aurora is considered a business activity, which is significant for hosts to understand. Hosts are required to register their properties with the city before engaging in short-term rental activities. Registration information is detailed on the Aurora's Airbnb Help Center, which provides necessary guidance.

City codes delineate that short-term rentals are allowed in residential zones as a home occupation—a term that permits only the primary resident of the home to operate the rental. Further restrictions can come into play if the property is part of a Homeowners' Association (HOA), as noted by the City of Aurora's resource.

Transient occupancy taxes and other safety measures are also part of the regulatory framework in Aurora. Hosts should acquaint themselves with the short-term rental regulation toolkit, which was crafted to assist policymakers and can be an invaluable resource for hosts as well.

It is vital for hosts to stay current as regulations may evolve. The City Code of Ordinances is a critical document to review, since it provides detailed information on what is considered permissible under Aurora's short-term rental policies. For a more comprehensive overview, one can refer to the guidelines outlined by HostScouts regarding Aurora's regulations.

Lastly, they must also consider the emergent trends in the regulatory environment, and resources like Airbnb and Legislation in 2024, offer insights into what changes may have come into effect recently.

Licensing Requirements for Short-Term Rentals in Aurora

Before engaging in short-term rentals in Aurora, hosts must navigate the specific licensing requirements. Compliance is critical to operate legally within the city's regulatory framework.

Applying for a Short-Term Rental Business License

In Aurora, individuals who wish to operate a short-term rental must first obtain a General Business License. This process involves submitting an application to the Licensing Division, which is subject to review for adherence to city regulations. The application must include detailed information about the rental property and owner and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Obtain an application form from the city's Licensing Division or their website.
  2. Complete the application, including all required personal information and property details.
  3. Pay the non-refundable application fee, which can vary based on the type of license and other factors.
  4. Submit the application and await notification from the Licensing Division.

Home Occupation and Zoning Compliance

Short-term rentals in Aurora fall under the scope of Home Occupation regulations, necessitating an understanding of the Zoning Code for compliance. The Zoning Code sets forth specific standards that the property must meet to maintain the residential character of the neighborhood. There may be limitations on signage, the amount of space used for the business, and parking regulations.

Key Compliance Points:

  • Ensure the short-term rental activity remains secondary to the residential use of the dwelling.
  • Follow any stipulations set forth by the Aurora City Council regarding short-term rental properties.
  • Regularly check for updates to the zoning laws that could affect the operation of a short-term rental business.

By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining compliance with Aurora's local codes and ordinances, short-term rental owners can establish and run their business within the bounds of the law.

Financial Obligations for Hosts in Aurora

Before renting out a property on Airbnb in Aurora, hosts must understand the specific financial obligations involved with operating a short-term rental. This includes the collection and remittance of applicable taxes, understanding local tax implications, and managing tax returns on a quarterly or monthly basis.

Tax Collection and Remittance

Short-term rental hosts in Aurora are responsible for the collection of applicable taxes from their guests. These taxes must then be remitted to the appropriate tax authority. The Finance Department typically oversees tax remittance processes and ensures compliance with local regulations. Hosts should maintain thorough records of all transactions to streamline this process.

Sales Tax and Lodger's Tax Implications

The sales tax rate in Aurora is a mandatory financial component that hosts must add to the cost of each rental. In addition to sales tax, there is also a lodger's tax that specifically applies to short-term rentals. The exact percentages for these taxes vary and should be verified with Aurora's tax authorities to ensure accurate calculations and compliance.

Understanding Quarterly and Monthly Tax Returns

Hosts are required to file tax returns, detailing their earnings and corresponding taxes collected from guests. These filings may occur on a quarterly or monthly basis, depending on the tax laws in Aurora. It is essential that hosts adhere to these reporting schedules to avoid penalties and ensure their operation remains in good standing. Regular consultation with tax professionals or the Finance Department is advised to navigate the complexities of these tax returns efficiently.

Operational Guidelines for Hosts in Aurora

Before listing a property on platforms such as Airbnb, hosts in Aurora must understand and comply with specific operational guidelines. These requirements are designed to ensure that short-term rentals integrate seamlessly into communities without causing disruptions or safety concerns.

Primary Residence and Owner-Occupied Rules

Short-term rental regulations in Aurora may stipulate that only the host's primary residence can be listed for short-term occupancy, ensuring that homes are not turned into de facto hotels. This means that hosts can typically only list the home that they occupy for the majority of the year. Some ordinances also require that the host be present during the guest's stay, especially in scenarios involving owner-occupied homes.

Noise and Nuisance Control

Hosts are responsible for maintaining a peaceful environment. This means adhering to local noise ordinances and ensuring that guests are informed about these rules. Limitations often include:

  • Quiet hours: Typically between 10 PM and 7 AM.
  • Nuisance violations: Immediate action must be taken by hosts to resolve any complaints received.

To prevent issues, hosts could provide clear house rules to guests regarding acceptable noise levels and neighborhood etiquette.

Safety and Health Standards

Safety and health standards are paramount in keeping short-term rentals safe for guests. Hosts must ensure that their rental complies with all relevant housing standards, such as:

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Installed and in working order.
  • Emergency Exits: Clearly marked and easily accessible.
  • Sanitation: Homes kept clean to prevent health hazards.

Moreover, regular property inspections may be required to uphold these standards, and hosts might need to provide contact information for someone who can respond promptly to any safety or health issues.

Booking, Listing, and Advertising Best Practices in Aurora

To ensure compliance with local regulations and maintain high guest satisfaction, hosts on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO must adopt best practices in listing, advertising, and managing bookings. These strategies help hosts to stand out in the market and ensure a smooth experience for both guests and hosts.

Effective Listing Strategies

When creating a listing on Airbnb or VRBO, hosts should always include the permit number, which confirms that they are operating within the legal framework of Aurora. Listings should clearly state available amenities and house rules in order to meet guest expectations accurately. Utilizing high-quality photos and detailed descriptions helps potential guests to make informed decisions. Hosts are recommended to:

  • Utilize Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally to improve search visibility.
  • Highlight Unique Features: Mention any unique aspects of the property that could attract guests.

Accurate Advertising Guidelines

Advertising must reflect the reality of the property. Hosts should never misrepresent their offering, as this can lead to cancellations and negative reviews. Advertisements should be:

  • Clear & Truthful: Provide a genuine depiction of the space and experience.
  • Up-to-Date: Keep availability, pricing, and special offers current to avoid miscommunications.

Booking and Cancellation Policies

Hosts should clearly articulate their booking and cancellation policies to prevent misunderstandings. It is critical that these policies are in line with the expectations set forth by the platforms and:

  • Fair & Transparent: Ensure policies are easy to find and understand by guests.
  • Consistent with Market Norms: Maintain competitiveness by aligning with common practices among other hosts in Aurora.

Community and Legal Considerations in Aurora

In Aurora, community and legal considerations for short-term rentals are multifaceted, focusing on homeowner association rules, tenant rights within long-term leases, and the broader impact on local housing markets and neighborhood atmosphere.

Compliance with HOA and Co-op Rules

Homeowner associations (HOAs) often have specific guidelines that govern short-term rentals such as Airbnb within their communities. Lease agreements may need to adjust to accommodate HOA restrictions on short-term rentals, ensuring residents comply with association covenants to prevent conflicts.

Long-Term Lease and Tenant Rights Impact

Tenants holding long-term leases may face restrictions from their landlords when attempting to sublet residential rooms as short-term rentals. Aurora's regulations might require tenant-landlord agreements to explicitly permit or restrict these arrangements. This protects both tenant rights and landlord interests in the integrity of long-term rental agreements.

Impact on Local Housing and Neighborhood Dynamics

The proliferation of short-term rentals can influence the availability of affordable housing in Aurora, potentially reducing long-term rental stock. Government authorities in areas like Denver and Boulder are mindful of this aspect and its impact on community cohesion, prompting them to balance innovation in lodging with sustainable neighborhood ecosystems.

Special Cases and Exceptions in Aurora

In Aurora, certain special cases and exemptions exist within the realm of short-term rental laws, particularly concerning accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and secondary rentals, as well as exemptions for rentals that extend beyond 30 days. These situations warrant close attention as they can bear unique regulatory considerations.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Secondary Rentals

Accessory dwelling units, often known as ADUs, can be subject to distinct regulations that differ from primary residences. In some instances, the city of Aurora allows ADUs to be rented out on a short-term basis, but this may be contingent upon meeting specific criteria that can include obtaining proper permits or adhering to occupancy restrictions. Secondary rentals, which refer to the rental of non-primary structures or spaces on a property, are similarly regulated and require the owner's due diligence to ensure compliance with local ordinances.

  • Permits Required: Owners might need to apply for a specific permit exclusive to ADUs.
  • Occupancy Limits: There may be limits on the number of occupants allowed within an ADU at one time.

Exemptions for Rentals Longer Than 30 Days

Rentals that last longer than 30 days generally fall outside the scope of typical short-term rental laws in Aurora. This duration of rental is typically considered a standard lease agreement, thus these longer-term rentals may be exempt from short-term rental regulations. Nevertheless, owners should still be aware of zoning laws or homeowner association rules that can influence renting practices.

  • Exemption Status: Rentals over 30 days are often not treated as short-term and thus exempt from certain taxes and regulations.
  • Leasing Laws Applied: Standard tenant and landlord regulations may apply instead of short-term rental rules.

Resources and Additional Information in Aurora

Short-term rental hosts in Aurora need to navigate various regulations and resources to ensure compliance. The following subsections provide targeted information regarding the City of Aurora's resources, as well as avenues for staying informed about legal and regulatory updates.

City of Aurora Resources for Hosts

The City of Aurora offers resources specifically tailored for short-term rental hosts to manage their obligations effectively, including a detailed guide to navigate the necessary steps. Short-term rental operations are considered home occupations under the building and zoning code section 146-3.3.j, with supplemental regulations in the city code. Hosts must also adhere to additional requirements such as obtaining a city business license. For further assistance, individuals can contact Visit Aurora or Trevor Vaughn, who manages the tax and licensing division.

Legal and Regulatory Updates

To keep abreast of changes in the short-term rental landscape, taking advantage of informative channels is vital. Regular updates can typically be found on official city websites. Hosts are encouraged to stay informed about modifications to the city code relevant to short-term rentals, which could impact their operations. It is also recommended to seek advice from lawyers or tax professionals for comprehensive understanding of how legal changes may affect their hosting activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the intricacies of local ordinances is essential for Airbnb hosts in Aurora. This section provides clear answers to common queries regarding the legal framework for short-term rentals in the city.

What are the requirements for obtaining a rental license for short-term rentals in Aurora?

To obtain a rental license in Aurora, hosts must register with the city, comply with local zoning codes, and ensure they have the proper safety measures in place. Registration can be initiated through the appropriate Aurora government channel.

How does the Aurora landlord-tenant ordinance affect short-term rental operations?

The landlord-tenant ordinance outlines the responsibilities and rights of both parties. Short-term rental hosts in Aurora must provide a safe and compliant rental environment, adhering strictly to these mandates.

What are the specific regulations governing Airbnb rentals in the city of Aurora?

Airbnb rentals in Aurora must comply with city codes that allow such rentals as home occupations. This includes restrictions on the number of tenants and adherence to local tax requirements. Hosts should verify if there are any additional HOA restrictions that may apply.

Can you explain the process for renewing a short-term rental license in Aurora?

Renewing a short-term rental license in Aurora usually involves submitting an application with updated information and compliance with any newly introduced regulations. Hosts should consult with the relevant city department for renewal procedures.

What constitutes a short-term rental under Aurora's city ordinances?

In Aurora, a short-term rental is typically defined as the rental of a residential space for a brief period, often less than 30 consecutive days. This is viewed as a business activity under city codes and is regulated accordingly.

Are there any city-specific restrictions for operating an Airbnb in Aurora?

Yes, there are restrictions, including compliance with local lodging taxes and potentially applicable home occupation regulations. It’s also essential to recognize that revenue from short-term rentals is subject to city lodging tax.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not serve as legal, financial, or tax advice. Consult your own legal, financial, or tax advisor for matters mentioned here. The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any of our policies. You should read the policy for a complete description of coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts, deductibles and other features are subject to individuals meeting our underwriting criteria and state availability. Not all features available in all states. Discounts may not apply to all coverages. Steadily is not liable for any actions taken based on this information. If you believe any of this information may be inaccurate please contact us.

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