Our response to the Denver Post’s editorial on the primary-residency requirement in the proposed short-term rental regulation:

Dear Denver Post,

I was disappointed to see the Denver Post take a stance against non-primary resident short term rentals in your editorial board post dated Feb. 5, 2016. I would like to take this time to discuss the advantages of non-primary residency homes and the numerous benefits that these properties have on neighborhoods and local economies.

Shortly after graduating from Colorado State University in 1996, I bought a home in Wash Park and invested heavily in it. I made many improvements such as installing new hardwood floors, French doors and a host of other upgrades. After I married my husband (and we decided to have children), we moved from that home to a larger home in Denver, but I did not want to sell my first home so we turned the property into a long-term rental.

As long-term rental landlords, our home experienced incredible wear and tear, constant renter turnover and complaints from neighbors regarding our tenants. We decided to try short-term/vacation rentals. Upon doing so, all of our previous challenges disappeared. Our neighbors gave us positive feedback regarding the families renting out our home and praised the improvements in our home maintenance, lawn care, and other home improvements. In addition, we found that visitors to our home took exceptional care of our home; treating it as their own during their stay. After guests depart they rate us on the platform, and we rate them both of which are available for anyone to see.

In order to continue to attract quality guests to our home, we keep our home in pristine condition. We hire a local landscaping company to keep our yard in excellent condition, a local cleaning crew, a local painting company to regularly paint the interior and exterior of our home as well as a contractor to keep the property functioning at the highest level. We have also equipped our home with safety measures, made personal recommendations on the best local cafes, restaurants, and shops to ensure that our guests feed the local economy, and stay in frequent communication with our neighbors to make sure that our guests are respectful neighbors. Thus, our home has improved the value of the neighborhood, improved our standing with our neighbors and positively impacted the local economy.

We have done all of this while not residing in the property or having the property as our primary residency. This is the norm for most property owners offering short term/vacation rentals in Denver. In fact, short term rentals have been operating in Denver for 20 years with almost no neighbor complaints. VRBO was actually founded in Denver 20+ years ago.

While we fully support the city’s efforts to regulate and tax, we are adamantly opposed to the provision that requires these homes be primary residencies. The primary residence requirement assumes that a homeowner will be in greater contact with its neighbors and arguably more available to react to potentially problematic guests if they reside in the home. However, there is no data or evidence to support this claim flagyl price usa. Moreover, the current draft ordinance allows primary residency owners to not be present during the visitors stay. Thus, an owner can be living in Europe for three months and rent out their home in Denver while they’re away. Why is it then that non-primary residency homes would be outlawed when the vast majority of owners reside in Colorado and can easily address any guest or neighbor concerns in a timely manner?

People who rent vacation homes or short term rentals in Denver predominantly do so because they wish to stay as a family under one roof, visiting Denver to attend a wedding, graduation, a birth or other family-centric occasion. They rent homes in residential neighborhoods and become residents of that neighborhood for the duration of their stay.

Today, they are roughly 2,000 short term rentals listed online. However, a more accurate number of rentals is closer to 1,500 due to the same properties being cross-listed on multiple platforms, inactive listings still showing on the sites as well as some rentals being listed for 30 day minimum stays. This equates to an estimated 0.45% of residential homes in Denver. Thus, short-term rentals represent a literal drop in the bucket. These homes are not the culprit of Denver’s affordable housing woes. In addition, the short-term rental market’s viability is entirely dependent on supply and demand. If the floodgates open as some predict, many short term rentals would not be sustained because there simply wouldn’t be enough travelers to support staying in these homes. Thus, homeowners would withdraw their homes from the short-term rental market and the market would find equilibrium without government interference.

Property rights are a basic tenant of our rights as Americans. The proposed legislation favors one property owner over another which is discriminatory in nature. There is no real data to show public safety concerns. The simple truth is that neighbors don’t get to choose their neighbors, long-term or otherwise, and rightfully so.

I hope that the Denver Post reconsiders its opposition to eliminating the primary-residency requirement, as to do otherwise would equate to ignoring the vast amount of data that support equitable regulations and the elimination of the primary-residency restriction.