The City of Colorado Springs defines a short term rental as a residential dwelling unit or portion of such a unit, that is rented for less than thirty (30) days at a time, with the exception of dwelling units owned by the Federal government, the State or the City, or any of their agencies, or facilities licensed by the State as health care facilities.
Anyone renting out a residential dwelling unit (examples: home, apartment, condo) or a portion of a residential dwelling unit (examples: bedroom, basement, cottage) in Colorado Springs must apply for a short term rental permit if the following criteria are met:
- The unit or partial unit is rented for less than thirty days at a time.
- The unit or partial unit is NOT owned by the federal government, the state, or the City of Colorado Springs, or any of their agencies, or facilities licensed by the state as health care facilities.
How to apply
Proof of primary residence (valid driver’s license or State I.D. Card, valid vehicle registration, military I.D, conceal carry permit, dependent’s school registration). Mail does not count as proof of residency
$119 permit fee. The fee can be paid via check (payable to the City of Colorado Springs), cash, or card (no AMEX or Discover). The permit fee can also be paid over the phone at 719-385-5349.
Proof of City Sales Tax License (A sales tax license is not required if short term rental is posted only on AirBnB)
Proof of at least $500,000 in liability insurance (Proof can be provided by hosting platform contract acknowledging insurance coverage through the platform i.e. AirBnb/VRBO, policy information, or other documentation)
Proof of listing on hosting platform i.e. AirBnB/VRBO (emailed link or screenshot)
The Planning & Community Development Department may require additional information for this application as needed
Short term rental operators must display their approved permit and Good Neighbor Guidelines (with the permit number, valid through date, and local emergency contact) in a prominent location within your short term rental unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of short term rentals are permitted and where are they allowed?
On 12-26-2019, City Council amended the short term rental ordinance to establish two types of short term rental permits – owner occupied and non-owner occupied.
Owner occupied short term rentals are those properties that are physically occupied by the owner for no less than 185 days per year. Owner occupied short term rentals are allowed in lawful dwelling units (i.e. you cannot rent out a tuff shed, tent, etc.) in zones where residential units are permitted. Those specific zones are A, R, R-1 9000, R-1 6000, R-2, R-4, R-5, SU, PUD, OR, OC, PBC, C-5, C-6 and M-1.
Non-owner occupied short term rental unit permit applications submitted after 12-26-2019 are not permitted in single-family zoning districts (R, R-1 9000, R-1 6000 or single-family PUDs).
Non-owner occupied short term rental units submitted after 12-26-2019 must be 500’ from another in all other zoning districts (R-2, R-4, R-5, SU, non-single family PUDs, OR, OC, PBC, C-5, C-6, and M-1).
To find the zoning of your property visit Springsview.
Is there a cap on STRs?
There is not a cap on the number of short term rentals being approved; however, limitations are in place for non-owner occupied properties.
Is there an exemption for military for owner occupancy?
Yes. Where an Owner Occupied short term rental unit is owned by an active duty military service member whose permanent duty station is within El Paso County, the Manager shall waive this requirement for the Owner for up to one (1) year if the service member receives orders to report to a temporary duty station outside of El Paso County.
How do I know if my non-owner occupied short term rental unit is 500’ from another short term rental unit?
Questions about the 500’ buffer between non-owner occupied short term rental units can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a waiting list for non-owner occupied STR permits?
At this time we do not have a waiting list for non-owner occupied permits. We recommend reaching out to email@example.com regarding any questions relating to the density restriction.
What areas of town have active short term rental permits?
All of the issued Short Term Rental (STR) permits are shown in the map links provided below. Each permit location is represented by a dot. In areas with fewer STR permits, the buffer areas are shown in green, and in areas with a higher concentration of STR permits, those areas are shown in red. This information will be updated monthly.
- January 2019 to May 2020 heat map showing where permits were issued.
- February 2019 heat map
- March 2019 heat map
- April 2019 heat map
- May 2019 heat map
- June 2019 heat map
- July 2019 heat map
- August 2019 heat map
- September 2019 heat map
- October 2019 heat map
- November 2019 heat map
- December heat map
- January 2020 heat map
- February 2020 heat map
- March 2020 heat map
- April 2020 heat map
- May 2020 heat map
How many short term rentals can I have?
NOTE – non-owner occupied short term rental units permit applications submitted after 12-26-19 are subject to additional requirements.
- In single family zoning districts (R, R1-9000, R1-6000, and single family PUDs) one listing for the property is permitted; this can be the whole house, or just one room/section of the house.
- For properties zoned R-2, two listings for the property are permitted.
- Up to 4 listings are allowed on properties that are zoned for multi-family (ie a property that would allow for an apartment).
- In the case of a condominium complex (or similar common ownership), each owner is allowed to operate a maximum of 2 short term rentals within the complex.
There is no limit to the number of short term rentals residents of Colorado Springs can operate (with the exception of condominium properties), nor is there a cap on the number of short term rentals that the City will allow to operate; however, non-owner occupied short term rental units are subject to additional standards. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each listing requires a separate permit application and fee.
Can I rent out a Mother-in-Law cottage in my rear yard?
Yes, you can rent out a mother-in-law cottage, accessory dwelling unit, etc. if it is classified as a lawful dwelling unit. A lawful dwelling unit must contain a 220 volt stove or gas connection for a stove.
How much does a permit cost?
A short term rental permit costs $119 annually. This does not include fees associated with your sales tax license.
How long is a permit valid?
Short term rental permits are valid for one year.
How do I renew my STR application?
In order to successfully renew your application, please submit the application, notarized affidavit, two forms of proof of residency, listing, and insurance to email@example.com. The application package can also be brought in over the counter or mailed in to 30 S Nevada Ave, suite 715.
What happens if I don’t renew my permit?
Failure to renew your short term rental application prior to the date of expiration may result in a Code Enforcement notice and if non-owner occupied, the potential forfeiture of your established permit. There is no grace period for late applications.
What paperwork do I need to post in my short term rental unit?
Your City-issued short term rental permit and Good Neighbor Guidelines with filled out local emergency contact, City-issued permit number, and valid-through date will act as your permit. This information needs to be prominently displayed within the unit. Please keep the local emergency contact information (name and phone number) available to renters.
Do I need to let the city know if any of the information on my STR application has changed?
Yes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with an updated application. It is imperative we have the most updated information for all permits in case of an emergency situation.
Do I need to let the City know if I decide to no longer operate my STR?
Yes. Please let us know immediately if you no longer chose to operate your short term rental and Staff will void the permit.
I am looking at buying a property, does the approved permit transfer with the sale of the property?
No. Pursuant to City Code Section, 7.5.1702; the permit shall expire upon the sale or transfer of the property.
Can I apply for an STR on a vacant property to “hold” my place?
No. City Code mandates that the rental unit/s must remain compliant with all Planning, Zoning, and Building codes (City Code Section 7.5.1704.F). A short term rental permit cannot be issued for a property that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy.
What if I rent my house for only a few days or weeks out of the year? Do I still need a permit?
Yes, you would still have to have a permit. Any property that is listed on a hosting platform must have an active short term rental permit.
The intent of the permit is to:
- establish a community standard for the integration of short term rental units within existing neighborhoods while maintaining neighborhood and community character;
- to ensure health and safety of visitors and residents by re-affirming police, fire, and building safety guidelines for transient lodgers who may not be familiar with local laws;
- and to ensure that short term rental owners are paying LART tax similar to other transient lodging including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.
What can I do if I think my neighbor is operating a short term rental without a permit?
First, check the city map on Springs View to see if a permit exists for the property. Click "show layer list" and ensure that "Short Term Rentals" is checked under "Planning-Administration." Enter the property address in the search bar. If a permit does not show up, please contact the City's Neighborhood Services Division (Code Enforcement) or submit a report online.
I’m a neighbor of a short term rental and there is an issue with renters, what do I do?
If there is an emergency, please call 911.
If there is a non-life threatening issue, including loud parties, please call the police non-emergency line at 719-444-7000.
Emergency contact information for the short term rental can be viewed at Springs View. Click "Show Layer List" and ensure that "Short Term Rentals" is checked under "Planning-Administration." Enter the property address in the search bar. If a Short Term Rental permit has been issued, the name and phone number of the property's emergency contact will come up. This information has been provided by the owner as someone that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and able to respond to the non-life threatening emergency within one hour.
- Pursuant to Section 7.5.1706(H), “maximum overnight occupancy of a short term rental unit shall be limited to two (2) occupants per bedroom, plus an additional two (2) occupants per dwelling unit. The maximum occupancy per dwelling unit shall be fifteen (15) occupants.”
- They must be operated out of lawful dwelling units
- If you’re advertising your short term rental on websites other than AirBnB you will need to obtain a City Sales Tax License (AirBnB collects sales tax on the City’s behalf). All taxes owed to the City shall be remitted prior to issuance of the short term rental permit (Ordinance 19-49).
- You must maintain weekly residential trash collection services.
- You will need to provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of not less than $500,000.
- Properties must remain compliant with all planning, zoning, building, and other City codes.
- All short term rentals shall abide by all applicable noise, housing, and public health ordinances of the City and with all other City fire and safety ordinances.
- Parking in private driveways shall be utilized first with overflow parking on the street where permitted.
- You cannot host weddings or large social/commercial events at a short term rental
- Short term rentals are required to have a 24-hour point of contact on file with the Planning Department who can respond within 1 hour in the case of an emergency.
- Your short term rental permit is valid for 1 year.
- Ordinance 18-112 – Program Adoption
- Ordinance 19-49 Sales Tax Requirement
- Ordinance 19-82 – Occupancy Limitations
- Ordinance 19-101 – Non-Owner Occupied Regulations
Why do we need regulations?
- To establish a community standard for the integration of short term rental units within existing neighborhoods while maintaining neighborhood and community character.
- To ensure health and safety of visitors and residents by re-affirming police, fire, and building safety guidelines for transient lodgers who may not be familiar with local laws.
- To ensure that short term rental owners are paying LART tax similar to other transient lodging including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.
Questions about the Short Term Rental Program can be sent to email@example.com or call 719-385-5905.