Can I short term rent my mountain property? 

*Updated on 9/30/21 - Breckenridge passed a cap on short-term rental licenses. This will go into effect on November 2nd*

The short-term rental landscape is changing in Summit County and each jurisdiction is taking a different approach. Your ability to short term rent your mountain property will now depend on the location. 

Over the past 30 days, Summit County and Local Town Councils have taken action to reduce the number of short-term rentals in the mountain towns. This is impacting current owners along with prospective buyers and sellers across the county. It is unknown at this time what impact this will have on the Real Estate Market but we feel it is important for you to be informed of these significant changes. 

It is also important to know, this is all very new; nothing is final and details are likely to change so we will continue to update you as things progress.

Here is an overview of what is happening with Short Term rentals in each location: 

Town of Breckenridge

Breckenridge was the first town to make a significant move towards changing legislation around short-term rentals within the town limits.

On September 2nd, the Town of Breckenridge informed the community of their intentions to place restrictions on the number of short-term rental licenses permitted with the town limits of Breckenridge.

As of Monday, August 16th, there were 3,945 Short Term Rental Licenses (2,476 non-exempt and 1,469 exempt). An exempt license is a property that has a central phone system, a staff front desk, and a full-time, on-site security staff. The discussion by Council to cap non-exempt STRs at 2,200 equates to a reduction of 276 licenses or 11.15%. The town council believes there is no magic number; the discussion to cap at 2,200 is thought to be a measured approach when you consider the tremendous growth in STRs and real estate sales over the last 3 years. The number of total STR licenses has grown from 2,881 in 2012 to 3,945 in 2021, an increase of 1,064 or 36.9%.

On September 15th, the Breckenridge Town Council approved the first reading of the draft ordinance. The second reading and final vote are on Tuesday, September 28th. Here is an overview of the decisions:

  • The town approved a cap of 2200 permits. There are currently 2495 and over 300 additional were applied for in the past two weeks.
  • Council reasoning: degradation of community character, although affordable housing and limiting tourism have both been mentioned by Council members.
  • The ordinance does not apply to units/complexes with front desks, security systems, and a central phone system. A list of exempt properties is to come.
  • Permits will be reduced through attrition as properties are sold or owners' permits expire. New permits will be issued through a waitlist system.
  • A temporary six-month STR permit will be issued to new property owners to allow them the ability to honor reservations that existed on the date the property was transferred, and the permit was lost. Details will be established in the administrative regulations.
  • The effective date will be 35 days from the second reading and final ratification of the ordinance.

On September 17th, Breckenridge Town Council held a special meeting to discuss amendments to the short-term rental ordinance, including exemptions and incentives, in advance of the second reading.

As a result of Council’s special meeting, the following exemptions to the STR cap will be added to the ordinance for review at the second reading:

  • Ability to transfer a license in circumstances that include, but are not limited to, pursuant to a will, to a family member(s), divorce or similar circumstances to be outlined in the revision.
  • Building permits, active on September 14, will have an 18-month window to apply for an STR license.
  • Any property under contract to sell by September 28 will have a 6-month window to apply for a STR license.
  • Council also discussed future incentives that would allow a property owner to obtain a STR license. Some potential incentives include:
  • A policy that would allow for the issuance of a seasonal STR license to a property owner who provides housing for a period of time (e.g., 3-4 months in the summer) during the same year.
  • Provision to allow a STR license to be issued to a property owner who brings a new deed-restricted workforce housing unit into the Upper Blue Basin.

On September 24th, the Town of Breckenridge provided a list of properties that are considered ‘exempt’ under the Breckenridge Short Term Rental Moratorium.

  • Beaver Run Resort
  • BlueSky
  • Crystal Peak
  • Grand Colorado
  • Grand Lodge
  • Grand Timber Lodge
  • Main Street Station
  • Mountain Thunder
  • One Ski Hill Place
  • River Mountain Lodge
  • Valdoro
  • Water House

On September 28th, the Breckenridge Town Council passed a cap on new short-term rental licenses for non-exempt units at a maximum of 2200 licenses. There are roughly 3,0000 non-exempt licenses right now. Permits will be reduced through attrition, meaning as properties are sold, or licenses are turned in, the permit level will be reduced.  Once the 2200 level is achieved in several years, the Town will issue licenses based on a waiting list. 

The ordinance goes into effect on November 2nd, 2021. Current property owners may apply for licenses up until November 2nd. Properties under contract must have been under contract at 11:59 pm September 27th to obtain a permit.

Click here for more information.

Summit County

Properties located in incorporated Summit County will be affected by Summit Counties Short Term Rental Legislation.

Is your property located in unincorporated Summit County? Click here to double-check if you are under Town or County Jurisdiction. You can search by your property address or last name. Check the town layer on the left side to show if you are within the town limits.

The Board of County Commissioners made a decision on Sept. 14, 2021, to pass a temporary 90-day moratorium for unincorporated Summit County, excluding Keystone, Copper, and Peak 8 resort areas. The moratorium took effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. The purpose of the moratorium is to address the local workforce housing crisis by preventing the further conversion of potential long-term housing stock while giving the County time to examine data and take a surgical approach to any proposed code amendments. The moratorium is only for new licenses and does not affect conversions or renewals.

Properties in Keystone, Copper Mountain, and in the 4 o’clock Subdivision and Skiwatch in Breckenridge are exempt from this moratorium and may continue to apply for permits as normal.

During the moratorium, properties under contract and properties that are under construction may apply for a special exception prior to applying for the permit.

During the moratorium, the County plans empirical data research and will work to find creative incentives for property owners to convert their properties to long-term rentals in: “locals zones”. These zones include:

  • Dillon Valley
  • French Creek
  • Woodmoor
  • Wildernest
  • Frisco Terrace/Evergreen
  • Lake View Meadows
  • Mesa Cortina
  • Summit Cove
  • Alpine Breck
  • Quandary Village
  • Peak 7 

Click Here for more information on the process and mapping of Keystone and Copper.

Blue River 

The following update was provided by Blue River on September 28th.

The Board of Trustees had a brief discussion about short-term rentals at the Board retreat in August and again this month. At the time, 18% of the homes in Blue River are licensed as short-term rentals. The Trustees will be discussing the future and evaluating the overall plan for short-term rentals at a future work session. This is tentatively set for November. More information to come.

In Blue River, you are required to obtain a short-term rental license and to collect and remit taxes. Information is available on our website. You Do Not Need to obtain any other license. It has come to our attention that Airbnb is stating you need a County license, but you do not. We are working with the County and trying to sort through all of this.

If you are not intending on actually short-term renting, please do not obtain a license. This falsely inflates the actual number of licensed properties. If the Town decides to make any changes, we will be sure to inform you. In addition, if you are currently renting through Airbnb or VRBO, please make sure you are listed as BLUE RIVER. They do not have an agreement with us to collect the 3.4% lodging tax. If they are collecting this and stating they are remitting it, please note your taxes are going to Breckenridge and not Blue River. If you are listed as Blue River, these companies should be remitting 8.875% to the State of Colorado and you, the licensee are responsible for remitting the 3.4% to the Town of Blue River on a minimum of a quarterly basis.

While we understand the actions taken by the other communities and County have created a sense of urgency, please note, the Town of Blue River is not currently making any changes but instead will be looking at a long-term strategic approach to how short-term rentals look in the Town moving forward.

What about Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne?

These towns have stated they are not making any changes at this time. 

On September 21st, the Town of Dillon planned to pass an emergency 7-month moratorium on new STR permits but the Town Council chose not to move forward with the emergency ordinance, citing the need for more research.

The Town of Frisco said nothing has been decided but they are researching options.

The Town of Silverthorne is just watching and listening at this time. No action is planned as of right now.

Our team at Omni Real Estate is closely following these proposed changes and will continue to update you as we receive additional information. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

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