FILE - Residential neighborhood with view of downtown Denver

Aerial view of residential neighborhood with view of downtown Denver.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office charged a local man with a felony for allegedly “running an illegal short-term rental business.”

Aaron Caleb Elinoff, 34, is the third individual charged for operating illegal rentals, after the city began cracking down on the practice.

The District Attorney’s Office, which labeled the actions a “scheme,” charged Elinoff on Friday on a count of attempting to influence a public servant.

Denver requires that property owners can only offer short-term rentals at properties that are their full-time residence.

On June 5, 2019, a Denver Excise and Licensing agent was told by Elinoff that he lived at a property in the Denver area. The agent later saw Elinoff enter a second property and conducted an investigation, eventually concluding Elinoff lived at the first property despite signing an affidavit saying his main residence was the second property.

Two other individuals were charged last month with allegedly operating illegal vacation rentals. 

Alexander Neir, 45, and Stacy Neir, 43, a married couple, each had separate primary residences listed at two properties they owned, which were both listed on the travel accommodations website Airbnb. 

Some have criticized criminalizing short-term vacation rentals since they don’t cause harm others.

“Why should it be illegal to rent your home on a short-term basis when it’s not illegal to rent it on a long-term basis? In other words, why are the Neirs criminals at all?” Matt Miller, an attorney at the Arizona-based conservative think tank Goldwater Institute, asked about the Neir’s case. “In reporting about the story, there is no allegation that they were running a party house or causing any nuisances for their neighbors. There is no allegation that they harmed, bothered, or inconvenienced anyone at all. They were simply using their property the way millions of Americans do: to make money by meeting the needs of travelers and other people who need a place to stay.” 

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.