Rental regulations are anti-business

The Colorado Springs City Council seems to be deciding against small- and micro-business opportunities by supporting regulations for short-term rental rooms, apartments and homes inside city limits.

Next week, council will vote on an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals in the city — and limit the earning potential for property owners.

Under consideration at its Monday meeting: limiting the number of short-term rentals a property owner can operate and setting conditions for permits for every short-term rental in the city limits (including suspension or revocation).

Despite spending months on the issue, and drafting several iterations of the ordinance currently before council, the proposed law is too vague. It doesn’t say how many short-term rentals the city can have but it does require a property manager to respond to emergencies within an hour. It doesn’t define what constitutes an emergency, so renters could claim almost anything and expect an immediate response. It doesn’t really specify how permits are suspended or revoked, just that they might be for ordinance violations.

It’s too punitive. The city can revoke permits for noise violations or if the renters aren’t obeying the fire code.

What happened to free markets and free enterprise? Why does it seem like every problem requires a government solution and every solution requires more regulation?

Colorado Springs isn’t one of the cities struggling with too many short-term rentals, which make up about 0.5 percent of overall housing in the city. But it is a city where wages have failed to keep up with statewide averages, and people are trying innovative side hustles to make up the shortfall.