Gunshots erupted at Halloween party at short-term rented house, landlord lost rental license
This was one of the first cases under Denver’s new short-term rental regulations.
UPDATE: In a bylaw announced on January 16, the owner lost her license and cannot get another one for a year.
According to a case statement filed by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, the party began to spiral out of control shortly after 11 p.m. when police responded to reports of multiple gunfire and people fleeing the residence. At around 2 a.m., police responded to the party again after a scuffle broke out, leaving a man with “minor trauma to his face.” An ambulance treated the man, who refused to identify himself. None of the other people who left the party reported to the police.
The Department of Excise and Licensing said in a Jan. 16 statement that under a settlement, landlord Shannon Baker surrendered her short-term rental license and could not get another one for a year. .
A new Denver law passed in April prohibits short-term rentals from “operating in a manner that adversely affects the public health, safety or well-being of the immediate vicinity in which the property is located.” The Baker case is only the second time the city has sought to revoke a permit under the new rules. Another case involving Cherry Creek property that is said to have been used regularly for parties has a hearing scheduled for February 19.
In both cases, the city also alleged that the owners did not reside in the residences used as short-term rentals. Denver requires that all short-term rental properties be the owner’s primary residence.
According to Eric Escudero, spokesperson for the city’s excise and licensing department, the main residence regulation serves two purposes. First, it cuts down on the number of Airbnbs used for big parties because the owners are usually on site. Second, it prevents developers from coming to Denver, buying properties that would otherwise be used as long-term residences, and renting them out for the short term. Escudero says short-term rentals are the main source of complaints his department receives. They receive an average of three complaints per week via 311, he said.
Denver requires all short-term tenants to acquire a business license.