Denver crosses 20,000 licenses issued milestone for landlords

Published on April 25, 2024

Picture of an apartment building

The City's residential rental license program reached a milestone this week, crossing the threshold of over 20,000 licenses issued. The requirement for landlords to be licensed went into full effect just under five months ago, on January 1. The city received a surge of 6,832 applications in just the two months between December 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024.

To get licensed, landlords in Denver are required to pass a third-party inspection(XLSX, 24KB) which must be included in their application. The license is good for four years, unless a property is sold, which requires a new license. As of today, the city has issued 20,074 residential rental licenses. Those licensed properties contain 159,000 rental units in Denver.

"We're proud to surpass this major milestone because it is easy to see how this makes Denver a safer, more affordable, and vibrant city," said Molly Duplechian, executive director of the Department of Excise and Licenses. "To have this many landlords licensed in such a short period of time makes it easier to ensure compliance with housing standards across rental properties in Denver. Nobody should pay for rent in a home that is not safe."

For the first time in the history of the program, the city experienced a backlog in processing applications due to the mass number of applications received at the end of last year and early this year. The city has processed over 4,000 applications in the first few months of the year, reducing the backlog to 2,638 pending applications. Of those pending applications, 1,202 -almost half- of those applications are missing required information from the applicants before they can be processed.

Denver is also continuing to take enforcement action against unlicensed landlords. Unlicensed landlords found by the city receive a notice of violation warning letter, followed by fines of $150, $500, and $999 if a landlord does not get the required license. To date, the city has issued $87,036 in fines, and sent out 2,076 notices of violation. The vast majority of landlords have applied for a license after getting a notice of violation warning letter.

To check an address to see if it has a residential license, renters can check the Department's online dashboard here. Renters can also file a complaint about an unlicensed residential rental property here. More information can be found at