When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it's important for you to understand the laws in your city. As a platform and marketplace we do not provide legal advice, but we want to provide some useful links that may help you better understand laws and regulations in Aspen. This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good start in understanding your local laws. If you have questions, contact the Planning and Zoning Department or other city agencies directly, or consult a local lawyer or tax professional.
- Land Use Code. Title 26 of the Aspen Municipal Code governs most land use in Aspen. You should consult this to see if your listing is consistent with current zoning requirements or use definitions, in particular Sections 26.575.220 and 26.710. Aspen also provides helpful information on its website. Important terms include "accessory dwelling unit," "accessory structure or building," "bandit unit," "bed and breakfast," "bedroom," "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "hotel," "lodge," "resident-occupied unit," "residential use," "timeshare lodge," and "vacation rental."
- Building and Housing Standards. Aspen has rules and regulations specifying minimum construction, design, and maintenance standards for buildings, including regulations on habitability, health, and safety. Certain regulations applicable to residential and non-residential uses may be relevant to your listing, including Title 8 of the Aspen Municipal Code.
- Vacation Rental Permit. Aspen requires owners or operators of vacation rentals to apply for, receive, and annually renew a vacation rental permit. The application form can be accessed here. Owners who do not live in the Roaring Fork Valley are required to provide the name of a local contact who will be on-call when the listing is occupied by guests.
- Business License. In addition to the vacation rental permit, Aspen also requires owners and operators of vacation rentals to have a business license. You can learn more and apply for a license at the City's Business Navigator website.
- Employee Housing. Hosts occupying deed-restricted employee housing should review Aspen and Pitkin County's current Affordable Housing Guidelines to see if any rules or regulations apply to listing your unit. You can also contact the Housing Office here.
- Lodging Tax. The City of Aspen and the State of Colorado both assess lodging taxes on any short-term rentals. A "short-term rental" is defined as a period of less than 30 days. More information about the City and State's lodging tax is available at the City's FAQ page.
- Other Rules. It's also important to understand and follow other contracts or rules, such as leases, timeshare ownership rules, condo board or co-op rules, HOA rules, or rules established by tenant organizations. Please read your lease agreement and check with your landlord if applicable.
We are committed to working with local officials to help them understand how Airbnb benefits our community. Where needed, we will continue to advocate for changes that will allow regular people to rent out their own homes.
Last updated: January 21, 2015
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