BACKGROUND: Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) colonization is a frequent occurrence in patients with renal failure. Understanding the impact of VRE colonization on this group of patients has considerable clinical applicability. AIM: To understand whether VRE colonization in renal patients has an impact on number of admissions to hospital, length of stay, and mortality. METHODS: A retrospective case-control study of renal dialysis patients was performed between 2000 and 2010. Cases were 134 VRE-colonized patients requiring renal replacement therapy and matched controls were 137 non-colonized patients with the same baseline characteristics. Matched cases and controls were analysed for differences in number of admissions, length of stay, and mortality. FINDINGS: There was no difference in mortality between colonized and non-colonized patients (hazard ratio: 1.14; 95 confidence interval: 0.78-1.69; P = 0.49). Length of stay for colonized patients was 7.29 days compared with 4.14 days (P <0.001). The number of admissions for VRE-colonized patients was not significantly different compared with controls (9.34 vs 8.33, P = 0.78). CONCLUSION: VRE colonization did not increase mortality in renal patients but did contribute to increased length of stay.