The City of Denver just revoked a short-term rental license for the first time.
Today, March 20, Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses rescinded the license of Garth Yettick, a short-term rental operator whose neighbors and the department say was out of compliance with city regulations.
“Denver is determined to have a regulated short-term rental market that is business friendly, but also protects the integrity and safety of our neighborhoods...Denver welcomes short-term rentals that operate within the rules to protect the community, but we will not hesitate to take action following legitimate complaints from the community,” said Ashley Kilroy, executive director of Excise and Licenses, in a statement.
According to city figures, of the 2,573 active short-term renters in Denver, 72 percent are in compliance. Those out of compliance typically receive warning letters and fines before the city escalates its enforcement.
Yettick received his short-term rental license in summer 2017 for his 7,787-square-foot home, which he began listing on Airbnb as Marion Manor for around $1,000 per night, excluding cleaning and service fees and occupancy taxes. The mansion, advertised for up to twenty people, has six bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms and a large outdoor pool and patio. Built in 1887, the home is valued at more than $5.67 million on Zillow.
Neighbors contend that since he began renting Marion Manor, Yettick rarely visited the home. They also complained about a week-long frat party where guests wore robes and drank out of red cups at the mansion.
Some of his neighbors began officially complaining to Excise and Licenses starting in May 2018, which culminated in a city administrative hearing in January 2019 to determine whether Marion Manor was, in fact, Yettick's primary residence.
The city defines a primary residence as "the usual place of return for housing as documented by at least two of the following: motor vehicle registration, driver's license, Colorado state identification card, voter registration, tax documents, or a utility bill. A person can only have one primary residence." The primary residence requirement helps ensure that people don't buy homes in Denver solely to convert them into short-term rentals.
During the January administrative hearing, Yettick argued that he had documents that proved that Marion Manor was his primary residence and that his neighbors just never saw him because he travels for work. But city attorney Chris Gaddis argued that anyone could easily get a utility bill or a voter registration for a home that wasn't actually their primary residence.
The city argued that a condo Yettick purchased for $2.1 million on Fillmore Street right around the time that he received the short-term rental license was actually his primary residence. Yettick acknowledged that he sometimes stays at the condo, where his girlfriend lives.
Just days before the city revoked his licenses, a decision he could still challenge in court, Yettick put Marion Manor on the market, according to BusinessDen. Yettick did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
On April 10, Excise and Licenses will unveil new regulations for short-term rentals that it says will ramp up insurance requirements and also specify reasons for possible license removal.