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.

Effective August 24, 2021 - The Town of Buena Vista adopted  Emergency Ordinance No 13, Series 2021 imposing a temporary moratorium on the acceptance, processing, and approval of any application for short-term rental licenses within the town. This ordinance is set to expire on October 27, 2021. At the October 12 meeting, the Board adopted Emergency Ordinance No 16, extending the temporary moratorium through November 7, so it aligns with the date Ordinance 15 goes into effect.
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.  

Applications will not be accepted until Monday, November 8. Renewal packets will be mailed out to current STR license holders on October 28. The links to the STR new packet and renewal form will remain inactive until October 29. 

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 sone 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.

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.
  • New fees for the 2022 licensing year were approved by the Board of Trustees on October 12, 2022. The fee for an initial/new license is $250.00, and $150.00 for renewal licenses.

We will begin accepting all short-term rental applications on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 8:00 AM. Please note that new applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis (date and time stamped by staff). Applications received by mail prior to November 8 will not count as accepted until 2:00 pm on November 8. New applications in the out-of-county and entity category will not be processed until the renewal timeframe has closed on Friday, December 3, 2021. 

Please, do not attempt to submit your application prior to November 8, and remember that applications, new or renewal, will not be accepted via email at any point.

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 available= 110. In the 2021 licensing year, there were 103 licenses issued in this category. The final number of available licenses in this category cannot be determined until the current license holder renewal period has ended and the Town can verify and approve all changes that may affect the number of available licenses.

In-County, Non-Primary total licenses available = 55. In the 2021 licensing year, there were 12 licenses issued in this category.

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.

Please click on the appropriate link to begin:

Short-term rental renewal form (PDF) - COMING SOON

NEW Short-term rental application packet (PDF) - COMING SOON

Additional helpful information:
If you advertise your STR exclusively on Airbnb, 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.