The lucrative allure of renting out your apartment to travelers in Denver is understandable. With tourists looking for affordable, short-term accommodations, you’re sure to get recurring income from a rental property. But what happens to your profits when vacationers become nightmare tenants?
Vacationers Leave a Mess
Imagine carefully writing a description of your short-term vacation rental in a Denver suburb. “Beautiful downtown apartment in a historic district, with three bedrooms, loft, and charming rooftop patio with magnificent views.” And then you come home to a ruined downtown apartment in your historic district, with three bedrooms in disarray and a strange smell, and litter on your charming rooftop patio — with magnificent views marred by a hole in the natural stone railing.
One in every 41,000 renters reportedly damage the homes. Some renters in Denver come home to a mess, with garbage left everywhere and ruined window treatments. In serious cases, renters come home to another tenant occupying the property, which can get tricky if that tenant refuses to leave. This is where you’ll need the expertise of a real estate lawyer.
A New Law for Vacation Rentals
A real estate attorney in Denver will not only be a valuable ally during landlord-tenant disputes. Your lawyer can also guide you through the changing policies in Denver’s short-term rental industry.
The Denver City Council passed legislation that could ban some vacation rentals. For starters, you can only rent out primary residences now and have to obtain the necessary license. You may also have to pay taxes, just as hotels do. This could affect your usual earnings from the property, but the new law could also help you manage your rental better.
Protecting Your Income-earning Property
Current Denver law also prohibits self-help evictions and requires landlords to give tenants three days’ notice of eviction for lease violations. If you have a vacation renter who has taken possession of your home, you can’t simply toss out the person.
So your first line of defense against bad renters is to provide a term of the lease. The document could save you from the stress of having to evict a bad short-term renter. If the renter has to stay in Denver beyond the agreed term, have him or her sign a new lease. This may prevent complications in the future.
Other measures to take are screening renters, getting paid up front, and documenting the condition of the home before renters arrive, including the furniture. Each step will allow you to protect your home and future income.