Boulder’s SmartRegs Deadline

Boulder’s SmartRegs’ Deadline for Owners of Rental Property

The health and safety of people living in Boulder is a concern for Boulder’s government.  This concern led to the enactment of its SmartRegs in 2011. These energy guidelines for rental properties in the City of Boulder are intended to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, caused by Boulder’s rental stock.  The SmartRegs require rental property owners to comply with energy saving measures in order to reduce the energy consumption in their rental properties.

SmartRegs require licensed rental housing to meet a basic standard for energy efficiency by January 1, 2019.  The SmartRegs Ordinance compliance deadline is December 31, 2018.

What happens if you don’t comply with the SmartRegs?

If a property doesn’t meet compliance and have the required certificate, the owner will not be able to renew its rental license or legally rent the property. The owner could be subject to fines and possibly even jail time for noncompliance.

What rental properties require compliance with the SmartRegs?

SmartRegs do not apply to short-term rental licenses where the property must be the owner’s primary residence. Otherwise, all rental property within the City of Boulder is subject to the SmartRegs.

What are the SmartRegs?

The SmartRegs are ordinances in Boulder that were enacted in 2011 to try and bring housing into energy efficiency and life-safety compliance. The SmartRegs update the City of Boulder Housing Code and the Rental Licensing Code, and provide new energy efficiency requirements for Boulder’s existing licensed rental housing that can result in lower energy bills.  The goal of the ordinance is to enhance tenant comfort and safety through the improvement of energy efficiency while supporting the community’s energy and climate goals.

Where can you find more information on the SmartRegs? 

The City of Boulder’s website provides information and links to obtain a Rental License Handbook and SmartRegs Guidebook. See also, SmartRegs; SmartRegs Steps To Compliance; Rental Housing Licensing for more information from the City of Boulder.

What are the costs associated with noncompliance with SmartRegs?

While compliance with the SmartRegs can include costly construction work, noncompliance also has its costs. A service fee of $100 is recommended by Boulder’s Planning and Development Services’ staff for 2018, in addition to the 2017 service fee of $50 for a total fee of $150 for properties that are not compliant by December 31, 2017.

What if compliance with the SmartRegs is difficult and impractical for your property?

If you own or manage property that is older, historical and/or more difficult and expensive to bring into compliance, you may be able to apply for a technically impractical exemption or extension while you discuss any significant construction improvements and costs involved.

Who should you work with to get into compliance with the SmartRegs?

You can work with an Energy Advisor provided by the city (303-544-1001), an attorney and licensed contractors to walk through inspections, discuss cost-effective construction measures to meet the required goals, see how many points you have already achieved towards compliance, and what additional steps are needed.

By when should you submit an application for technical impracticality?

It is important to contact the city for confirmation, but at this time an application for technical impracticality should be submitted no later than December 29, 2017 to try and avoid the fees effective January 1, 2018 for noncompliance.

A link to the SmartRegs Technically Impractical Application can be found here at the middle of the page.

If you are a renter or manager (See, Residential Property Management and Lease Agreements), you can check on a property’s compliance with the SmartRegs on the City of Boulder’s website and submit any necessary code violation report/s.

If you are a rental property owner, updates on the SmartRegs are also available at the Boulder Area Rental Housing Association’s website.

It is important for owners, renters and the City of Boulder to work together to make homes safer and more energy efficient.

Cinthia M. Manzano is a shareholder with Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein, P.C. Her practice areas include Construction Defect, Construction, Special Needs Education Law, Real Estate, Litigation, and Association Law. Contact Cinthia Manzano.

Disclaimer — Content is general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter, nor does its publication create an attorney-client relationship. Laws vary from one state to another. For legal advice on a specific matter, consult an attorney.

CINTHIA M. MANZANO