Residential Rental Becomes Most Issued License

Published on July 25, 2023

The City and County of Denver has hit a major milestone in the effort to upgrade rental housing standards and implement the largest expansion of required licensing in city history. The residential rental property license has surpassed security guards as the most issued business license in Denver. There are now 7,824 active residential rental property licenses issued in Denver, compared to 7,677 active licenses for security guard individuals.

"We've worked hard to educate the public and make the licensing process easy to complete for this fairly new license type," said Molly Duplechian, Executive Director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. "As we approach the next phase of this licensing program geared toward raising minimal housing standards for rental properties across Denver, we are pleased to see so many responsible landlords who are completing the steps to getting licensed and demonstrating to their tenants they are renting a home that is safe."

The licensing requirement for multiunit residential rental properties began on Jan. 1, 2023. There are currently 4,676 licenses active for apartments and other properties that meet the multiunit criteria. In addition, there are already 3,148 licenses issued for single-unit rental properties even though these properties are not required to be licensed until Jan. 1, 2024. Single-unit property landlords who get licensed early receive a 50% discount on their application fee. Unlicensed residential rental properties are subject to city citations and fines.

More information about the rules, licensing fees and most commonly asked questions about the residential rental license can be found here. All properties are required to complete and pass an inspection from a third-party inspector(XLSX, 23KB) before submitting an application for the license. The city provides a checklist(PDF, 327KB) that third-party inspectors follow.

All security guard companies and security guard employees who work in Denver are required to complete a background check, complete and verify training and obtain a license to operate. More information about the security guard licensing requirement in Denver can be found here.

The top 5 active business licenses issued in the City and County of Denver

  1. Residential Rental 7,824
  2. Security Guard Individual 7,677
  3. Short-Term Rental 2,835
  4. Retail Food Establishment 2,493
  5. Combined 1,827

* Combined encompasses addresses that have multiple licenses at one location such as liquor and food-related licenses, or liquor and lodging facility hotel.

* Denver does not require a business license for all business. Generally, only businesses that have a health, safety or welfare concern are required to have a license.