Short Term Rental

Welcome to the short-term rental page. Here you will find helpful information to assist you when licensing your short-term rental. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you to everyone who provided comments on the topic of short-term rentals. Your remarks were thoughtful and insightful – we truly appreciate the time you took to participate and be heard by your Board of Trustees and staff.

On September 28, 2021, The Board of Trustees adopted  Ordinance No 15, Series 2021, which places some limitations on short-term rentals. View the combined version Ord 15 and Article 6 of the Buena Vista Municipal Code.  

Short-Term Rental Flow Category Flow Chart. This information is described in full on the webpage.  Opens in new window

The following limits apply to short-term rental licenses:

  • Natural persons who reside outside of Chaffee County who seek to license their property OR those who seek to license a property held in an entity (trust, LLC, etc.) are allowed to license no more than 6% of the total residential housing units in town.
  • Natural persons who reside in Chaffee County that seek to license a non-entity-held property that is NOT their primary residence are allowed to license no more than 3% of the total residential housing units in town.
  • Natural persons who seek to license all or part of their primary residence within the town limits are not subject to a percentage cap. 
  • Natural persons or entities who seek to license their property in the MU-MS zone district (better known as East Main St), or in the South Main PUD are not subject to a percentage cap. Limit of three (3) licenses per structure when the structure is under single ownership. View Town of Buena Vista Zoning Map (PDF).
    • Note: Properties in the MU-MS zone district are still required to obtain a special use permit in order to operate as a short-term rental. For more information on the process, contact the Town Planning Department at 719-581-1028 and submit the Special Use Application Form (PDF) with associated fees. 

In addition to the above limits:

  • One license is required per address. Each housing unit you seek to license must have a unique address and valid certificate of occupancy. This includes accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and other conversions made to exiting structures that are either attached or detached from the existing home.
  • Properties that are currently under construction that may seek to license their completed housing unit as a short-term rental are not subject to the above caps so long as the building permit was issued on or before September 28, 2021, and the certificate of occupancy is received prior to August 31, 2022.
  • The fee for an initial/new license is $250.00, and $150.00 for renewal licenses.
  • Existing short-term rental licenses are NON-TRANSFERRABLE with the sale of a property. Once the property ownership transfer is complete, the existing STR licenses is voided and the new owner must apply for a new STR license. 

The number of available licenses in 2022:

Note The number of in-town residential housing units used to determine the short-term rental percentage caps for 2022 licensing: 1837. This number was set on August 31, 2021.

Out-Of-County and Entities total licenses allowed = 110. This number includes current/active license holders. The final number of available licenses in this category is determined after the renewal period has ended and the Town can verify and approve all changes that may affect the number of available licenses.
••• Currently there are NO available licenses in this category. You may still submit an application, without payment, and will be placed on the waitlist. 

In-County, Non-Primary total licenses allowed = 55. This number includes current/active license holders. There are available licenses in this category, having issued roughly half of the 3% cap. 

Primary Residents = unlimited available.

Properties in MU-MS (East Main St) and South Main PUD = unlimited available.

How to apply for an STR in 2022:

First, remember that a short-term rental is defined as a residential structure, or portion thereof, in which the entire structure or two (2) or fewer habitable spaces are made available to paying guests for thirty consecutive days or less. If you meet this definition, you are subject to licensing requirements. If you are unsure if you are eligible for a short-term rental license, please carefully re-read the information on this page and contact the Deputy Town Clerk with questions.

Second, you must be able to prove ownership at the time you submit a short-term rental application. You may not submit an application if you are under contract on the property you wish to rent. We do not accept any application packets without the required copy of a warranty deed or special warranty deed (included in property closing documents). 

If you do not have a copy of your deed, you may obtain one from the Chaffee County Clerk. A screenshot from the assessor's website or copies of mortgage statements is not acceptable.

Third, please confirm that the property you wish to license is within town limits. Before applying, confirm the location of your property using the town zoning map (PDF). If it is not, you need to check current licensing requirements through Chaffee County by calling 719-530-5665.

Note that new applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis (date and time stamped by staff). Applicants that do not receive a license due to limitations will be placed on a waitlist in the order received, and any fee paid will be refunded, voided, destroyed, or not accepted. 

Applications, new or renewal, will not be accepted via email at any point.

Please click on the appropriate link to begin:

Short-term rental renewal packet (PDF) 

NEW Short-term rental application packet (PDF) 

Additional helpful information:
If you advertise your STR exclusively on Airbnb or VRBO, you do not need a sales tax license. If you list anywhere else, you must collect sales tax and must have a Colorado state sales tax to do so. Please visit the Colorado Department of Revenue website on how to apply and obtain a state sales tax license.

Site Plans and Floor Plans:
The site and floor plan examples can be digitally created or hand-drawn (must be legible). If you have any questions on the information that must be included, please contact us.

Short-Term Rental Site Plan Example (PDF)

Short-Term Rental Floor Plan Example (PDF)