Frisco CO Short-Term Rental Rules

Image - Frisco Short-Term Rental Rules

Over the years, affordable workforce housing has steadily increased in prevalence as an issue in Summit County, Colorado. However, since the onset of Covid-19, the challenge for the Summit County local workforce has continued to mount. And, many local businesses believe the lack of such housing is a significant factor driving worker shortages. Plus, if those employed here cannot live locally, many are concerned there will be a potential shift in the "character of Summit County". Accordingly, starting in 2018 and carrying on to the present, stakeholders across Summit County have discussed possible solutions for the lack of affordable housing in Summit County for local employees. And, various governmental authorities across Summit County have expended significant time and effort to find and implement measures that might potentially ease the local workforce housing crisis. Stemming from these various meetings, governmental bodies across Summit County have either adopted or are considering adopting new regulations regarding short-term rental (“STR”) licenses.

With the building height restrictions in place locally, Summit County does not have towering hotels with tremendous capacity to potentially serve its resort visitors. And, most locals agree the absence of such multi-story structures adds to the charm of our mountain community. However, Summit County tourism nonetheless relies on a healthy supply of places to stay, and short-term rentals in unincorporated Summit County certainly comprise a significant component in that regard. As a result, governmental bodies across Summit County are currently in an experimentation phase, enacting short-term rental rule changes in an effort to find the right balance between fostering increased local workforce housing while sustaining our vital tourism business. In turn, the regulatory landscape is quickly changing. As a resource for folks interested in potentially purchasing Frisco real estate and using their home to conduct short-term rentals in Frisco, my aim is to maintain this informational resource for learning more about Frisco short-term rental rules.

Frisco CO Short-Term Rentals
Property Owner FAQs

Which jurisdiction controls your Summit County short-term rental license?

The towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne have narrowly defined geographical borders.  Their rules obviously apply only to properties falling within their specific boundaries.  A surprising number of properties nearby to Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne are actually outside official town borders and are instead located in unincorporated portions of  Summit County.  And, Summit County short-term rental rules differ significantly, dependent upon where a particular property is located.  As a result, it’s extremely important to understand which local governmental jurisdiction controls a potential short-term rental property in Summit County.

If you’re unsure whether a property is located within a particular town or instead in unincorporated Summit County, there’s a quick way to figure it out.

  1. Go online to the Summit County GIS tool
  2. Accept the County disclaimer.
  3. Enter the property address.
  4. Once the property appears at the bottom of the page, the bottom-left-corner field will say “Jurisdiction”.  It will tell you if the property is subject to the short-term rental rules of a specific town (Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne) or instead if it is in unincorporated Summit County.

Image - Frisco Short-Term Rental Rules

What constitutes a short-term rental in Frisco?

Any Frisco Property Rental Less Than 30 Consecutive Days

Since Frisco is an incorporated town with its own code and regulations, we must turn to Ordinance 18-10 that sets forth the Frisco Short-Term Rental Rules. Section 110-37 defines the term "short-term rental" to be “an accommodation unit available for lease for a term of less than thirty (30) consecutive days."

Accordingly, the Frisco short-term rental rules seek to address the common scenario, where a Frisco property owner seeks to use popular platforms like AirBnb, VRBO and others to rent their home to tourists visiting for periods of less than 30 days. If you conduct any (even just one) rental of your Frisco property for a period of time less than 30 consecutive days, the prevailing rules that apply to Frisco require you to obtain a short-term rental license from the Town, and you must follow all Frisco short-term rental rules that are applicable to your Frisco property.

If you're a Frisco property owner who only plans to conduct property rentals for periods of time that are thirty consecutive days long or greater, Frisco’s short-term rental rules have no application whatsoever. In that case, there is no need for you to apply for or obtain a Frisco short-term rental license for your Frisco property. Rentals longer than 30 consecutive days in length are generally considered long-term rentals. Long-term rentals are encouraged, because they help provide housing to local employees. In fact, areas like Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge actually provide incentives for long-term leases to locals. With that in mind, no new regulations or restrictions are currently contemplated for rentals over 30 days in Frisco.

Frisco Short-Term Rental Rule Changes

Frisco Short-Term Rental License

In November 2018, the Town Council engaged in a first reading of an original draft of the Frisco short-term rental ordinance but decided to temporarily table it to work on a couple of issues. After a few modifications to the language, the Town Council voted on December 11, 2018 to approve the first reading of its Frisco Short-Term Rental Ordinance. As part of the ordinance, the Town of Frisco required Frisco short-term rental property owners to obtain STR licenses before leasing or advertising their short-term rental units.

Frisco short-term rental License fees are currently $250 per year.  As part of the short-term rental application process, Frisco also requires submission of a motor vehicle parking plan and an affidavit confirming basic life safety requisites have been met. Frisco short-term rental property owners must also provide guests with an information notice, which will include address, emergency information and various other important Frisco short term rental information.  On its website, the Town provides a nice summary of Frisco short-term rental rules.

Frisco Short-Term Rental Occupancy Limits

When the Town Council decided to table its original draft of the Frisco short-term rental ordinance in Nov. 2018, one of the main issues for further work by Town staff was occupancy limits for Frisco short-term rentals. In the final draft of the Frisco short-term rental ordinance, the Town of set short-term rental occupancy limits of 2 persons per bedroom plus 4 additional total occupants.

Frisco Short-Term Rental Responsible Agent

As part of the licensing application for a Frisco short-term rental, the Town also requires short-term rental owners to designate a Responsible Agent.  The Town defines a Responsible Agent as "a management company or individual who is identified by a licensee as the licensee’s responsible agent... who is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to respond as the initial point of contact for the short-term rental property."  The general purpose of the Responsible Agent is for someone to be available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week to respond to and resolve complaints submitted by the public regarding a particular Frisco short-term rental.

Frisco Short-Term Rental Excise Tax & Additional Fees

At a work session on November 30, 2021, the Frisco Town Council discussed potential solutions to alleviate community workforce housing shortages. Here is a YouTube link to the start of their short-term rental discussion. As outlined in a Staff Memo, the Frisco Town Council considered the possibilities of a short-term rental excise tax, a regulatory fee on a per-bedroom basis for Frisco short-term rental licenses, caps on the total number of short-term rental licenses and/or a moratorium on new short-term rental licenses.

At prior meetings on September 14 and 28, 2021, the Town Council discussed the possibility of moving forward with the possibility of imposing an excise tax on Frisco short-term rentals. At the Nov. 30 work session, this was the predominant discussion topic. More specifically, the Town Council dedicated most its discussion to the exact fee percentage of a potential Frisco STR excise tax. At one of the September meetings, the Town Council had tentatively examined the possibility of a 7.5% excise tax. There is already a sales and lodging tax of 10.725% that is applied to Frisco short-term rental visits. A proposed additional 7.5% tax would thereby bring the total tax on short-term rental stays to 18.275%. In its Memo, Frisco staff also compared the total excise tax in Frisco to other nearby communities:

  • Frisco 10.725%
  • Breckenridge 12.275%
  • Silverthorne 10.375%
  • Dillon 10.875%
  • Vail 9.80% (plus additional 0.5% passed Nov 2021 = 10.3% total)
  • Avon 12.4% (plus additional 2.0% passed Nov 2021 = 14.4% total)
  • Crested Butte 18.4% (plus additional 2.5% passed Nov 2021 = 20.9% total)

In November 2021, the Town returned to the topic of raising the tax rate on Frisco short-term rentals.  In January 2022, the Town Council lowered the initially proposed tax on Frisco short-term rentals from 7.5% to 5%.  Residents of the Town approved the 5% excise taxon Frisco short term rentals in their April 2022 election.

The last item raised by the Town regarding new Frisco short-term rental fees was the possible future imposition of new short-term rental license fees on a per-bedroom basis. In Nov. 2018, town staff noted that local communities had been  considering imposing regulatory fees on individual STR licenses. These fees would be used to defray the costs of Town housing policies and programs, address secondary impacts of the short-term rental industry on the community and STR program administration and enforcement. As this is a fee intended to defray the costs of a government's STR licensing and regulatory program, Frisco staff stated that imposition of any fee would first require completion of a study to calculate the cost of those impacts. Without such a study, Frisco staff opined it would be difficult to set a reasonable fee to be imposed for individual properties.  So far, the Town Council has not yet approved any new fees of this type.

No Caps & No Moratorium on Frisco Short-Term Rental Licenses

At present, there are no moratorium and no caps on short-term rental licenses in Frisco. Accordingly, the Town of Frisco continues to receive, evaluate and process new short-term rental applications at this time.

Regarding the possibility of a moratorium on the issuance of new Frisco short-term rental licenses, Town staff noted in Nov. 2018 that a temporary moratorium on Frisco short-term rental licenses could facilitate continued progress on converting their STR licensing software to a new provider.  However, unless Town Council intended to draft significant changes to the STR program, Town staff did not recommend that the Town impose a Frisco short-term rental moratorium.

Regarding the possibility of instituting a cap on the total number of Frisco short-term rental licenses, Frisco staff recommended in 2018 that the Town Council should create a cap at a level of 25% of the residential properties in Frisco. 25% would be equivalent to approximately 900 STR licenses. The Town of Frisco currently has 698 short-term rental licenses. So, that cap would be 200 more than currently exist, yet still lower than the proportions of STR properties in Breckenridge and other resort communities. Town Council members seemed to favor a cap in that range but asked staff to gather more information.

On June 28,2022, Town Staff issued a Memo Re: Frisco Short-Term Rental Overview & Strategies.  In the Memo, Town Staff recommended "gathering more data and conducting stakeholder interviews to further develop our understanding of the anticipated outcome prior to implementing" a cap on Frisco Short-Term Rental licenses.  At present, the Town has not yet added a cap of any type on the total number of Frisco short-term rental licenses.

No Caps on Frisco Short-Term Rental Nights

At present, there are also no caps on the number of rental nights for Frisco short-term rentals. Frisco permits short-term rental owners a potentially unlimited number of rental days in any calendar year.

Need Help Understanding Frisco Short-Term Rentals?

If you’re interested in further discussing local real estate and how STR license changes might potentially affect your decision to buy or sell a property in Frisco, please don’t hesitate to contact Philip for help.  After all, if you made it to this point, you’ll agree I’ve written "the book" when it comes to Frisco short-term rental rules!