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Should Landlords be Licensed?

  Denver says landlords should be licensed.   In early May, the city of Denver passed a law that requires all long term rentals to be licensed. The justification is that it will improve professionalism and hold landlords to a higher standard.  Specifically, City Counsel President Stacie Gilmore is quoted as saying, “This policy will help stabilize housing and neighborhoods.”   Lofty goals, for sure, and they may well be achieved with help from this policy. What seems to have been left relatively unexamined is the fact that any licensing system brings costs in addition to the potential benefits. Licensing fees ($50/unit for small properties, as little as $2/unit for large properties) are not huge, but are just a part of the cost.  There will also be periodic inspections, which will likely cost between $300 and $1,000.   In a market with average rents of about $1,700, that $350-$1,050 cost is a material increase to the cost of doing business, not to mention a significant additional compliance activity. How will this change the Denver rental market? What impacts - good or bad - will this have on the Denver rental market?   The Analogue Happily for us, licensing systems are very well studied and have been a hot topic of debate in academic and policy circles for many years.  Research is widely available from organizations like Brookings, Columbia University and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the U.S., there are many professional licensing systems, and almost all of them accomplish a few goals: Licensing set......
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