Historically, property owners were free to rent or lease their properties as they wanted. However, increasingly, restrictions are being placed upon such use. Already, some local governments have passed ordinances governing short term rentals (STRs). To find our if your local government has any regulations relating to STRs, a good place to check is your local municipal or administrative code. A call to your city’s zoning board or housing authority could also help.
Additionally, if your property is located within a Homeowners Association (HOA), or you in a condominium, cooperative, or planned development, use of your property is governed by deed-like restrictions commonly called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) or bylaws. These CC&Rs may have specific rules regarding STRs.
Typical restrictions affecting STRs include restrictions on rentals and restrictions on guests and occupancy. For rental restrictions, CC&Rs may have explicit restrictions on minimum and maximum duration of a rental or may flat out prohibit STRs. Restrictions on guest and occupancy may apply to the number of guests and the duration of their stay. Since STR customers are usually considered guests, these restrictions likely apply to STRs.
Fines can also be imposed for violations of CC&Rs. However, the board governing the CC&Rs cannot levy a fine unless it provides you notice and an opportunity for a hearing.
The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, C.R.S. § 38-33.3-101 et seq. and the Restatement of the Law on Property/Servitudes also provide specific rules on how and when governing boards can use CC&Rs to place restrictions on the use or occupancy of individually owned properties.
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If you have questions about STRs, you may first want to contact your communities’ governing board to learn about their specific rules. You should also look to see if your local government has rules in place. Finally, consulting with an HOA attorney can be a valuable resource to help you navigate this complex and confusing area of law. Contact one of our attorneys today to assist in alleviating your concerns and determine your rights or remedies. Telephone and video conferences are currently available.