Boulder sets out to prove it can enforce co-op and occupancy laws – Boulder Daily Camera

With Boulder having passed a new law last week allowing people to form housing co-operatives, the City Council wants to prove now it can actually enforce the policy it spent a year crafting…

The city has no working estimate of how many co-ops are here beyond the three that have existed amid Boulder’s original co-op regulations,… For that matter, Boulder has no working estimate of how many housing units of any kind are over-occupied.

Source: Boulder sets out to prove it can enforce co-op and occupancy laws – Boulder Daily Camera

Prying Eyes Are Watching Airbnb Customers as Tenants Fight Back

In a gentrifying neighborhood of San Francisco, a couple exit their cab and head toward an apartment, rolling suitcases behind them. Unbeknownst to them, a private investigator by the name of Michael Joffe sits in his parked car just across the street, discreetly snapping pictures. This is not a divorce case waiting to happen or an international spy caper. Nothing that salacious or mysterious. It is instead an episode that provides a window into how bitter the feud between struggling tenants and home-sharing websites like Airbnb Inc. has become. Joffe works for a tenant lawyer who in turns represents a family that was evicted from their apartment — the one that the couple was entering that day.

Full Story: Prying Eyes Are Watching Airbnb Customers as Tenants Fight Back – Bloomberg

Fines soon possible as Denver gears up to enforce short-term vacation rental rules – The Denver Post

The new year will bring the first threat of fines under Denver’s new vacation rental rules, and there appear to be plenty of potential targets. Six months into the city’s roll-out of short-term rental licensing, most people who rent rooms or homes on online services such as Airbnb and VRBO still have not gotten on board. That’s not a surprise. San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and other cities similarly have struggled to get most hosts to start collecting lodging taxes and obtain a license or permit. Such lags often persist for years.But next week, Denver licensing officials will begin holding out the threat of fines — topping out at $999 for repeated violations — though they say violations still will be met first with a warning.

Source: Fines soon possible as Denver gears up to enforce short-term vacation rental rules – The Denver Post

Reporting Short-Term Rental Violations

Here is the City of Boulder contact information for reporting complaints related to Short-Term Rental properties:

Kimberly Barnett
Short Term Rental Licensing Code Compliance
Telephone (direct line): (303) 441-4239

As you know, the City Council has now restricted short-term rentals to 20 days a month.  Today I attempted to file a complaint against a nearby property.  After many attempts, I finally found the person who handles short-term rental complaints.  Once I located her, Kimberly actually responded within a few hours.  However, she also stated the following and I quote her:

“The new ordinance regarding the 20-day section was just passed late Thursday night.  Up until now that has not been part of the code.  Our directors and City Attorney are working on interpretation, I have meetings scheduled this week for clarifications.  I may not have solid answers until sometime next week as our admin team works through this process this upcoming week.”

Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet

Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms have been a boon to travelers in recent years… But as such platforms have grown, housing advocates have become increasingly concerned that what’s good for visitors is bad for residents … they are exacerbating already severe housing shortages in cities such as New York and San Francisco, driving up rents.

But a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Airbnb booking and revenue data … shows that Airbnb’s impact is probably still small in most cities, but it also shows that a disproportionately large share of the company’s revenue comes from the listings that most worry its critics — homes that are rented out for a large portion of the year. That could give the company an incentive to focus on increasing such listings as it grows — something some experts believe may already be happening.

Source: Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet –fivethirtyeight.com

Cara Luneau: Dismayed by pace of change in Whittier neighborhood

I’ve lived in the Whittier neighborhood for 20 years and wish to express dismay in the face of accelerated change in this neighborhood.  The changes started with the proliferation of short-term rentals (VRBO, airbnb)… Recently there is talk of further increasing density in the Whittier neighborhood by allowing co-ops….  there is talk of a 40-unit apartment building at 15th and Pine that will violate numerous zoning restrictions…

What makes downtown Boulder charming is slipping through our fingers. Once lost, we will never get it back. It seems to me that what is behind most of this change is shortsightedness and greed. Is money all Boulder cares about?

Full Article: Cara Luneau: Dismayed by pace of change in Whittier neighborhood – Boulder Daily Camera

Alan Boles: Our neighborhood’s unneighborly hotel 

Can you have a residential neighborhood without having residential neighbors? That’s a basic question that the city has caused our little neighborhood at the western fringe of University Hill to confront.We are zoned R-1… The occupancy limit in this zone is no more than three unrelated people… Yet in our midst sits a single-suite hotel allowed by the city’s short-term rental ordinance.

According to its listing on VRBO, this hotel suite can accommodate up to 15 people. For the whole shebang the rates start at $745 a night, with a two-night minimum required on some weekends. According to the listing, the hotel is reserved about 85 percent of every month…

Read more at: Alan Boles: Our neighborhood’s unneighborly hotel – Boulder Daily Camera