REIA, the Real Estate Investors Association of Washington 

Real Estate Investors Association
                                of Washington


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Is Your Rental Property Registered?


Many jurisdictions in Washington State now require that your rental property be registered.

Rental registration in Washington isn't "only" for large apartment complexes in most jurisdictions.  Rental registration can apply to as few as ONE rental housing unit, typically with related rental unit inspections. 
Landlords in Seattle and multiple cities throughout Washington are required to register rental units, sign a Declaration of Compliance and have performed, at the landlords expense, an inspection of all rental units to validate the Declaration. The related flyer from the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development has been and will remain available at REIA meetings and can be accessed by clicking the links herein.     

According to the City of Seattle:

"Anyone who owns or manages a rental housing unit in Seattle is required to register unless they qualify for a registration exception. Exceptions include government-owned, government-operated, and institutional rental housing."

City of Seattle registration deadlines vary, as follows:

  • All properties with 10 or more units must be registered by September 30, 2014.
  • All properties with 5–9 units must be registered by March 31, 2015.
  • During 2015 and 2016, single-family, duplex, triplex, and four plex properties with rental units will be registered.  We will base specific due dates for these properties on the ZIP code where the property is located.
  • The complete schedule of due dates is available at
  Rental Property Registration

In addition to periodic inspections, the City of Seattle requires a "Declaration of Compliance" declaring that the "property and available rental units meet the standards described in the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) Checklist.

Additional information regarding the City of Seattle registration program is available by clicking here.
Many of Washington's cities have adapted similar rental registration and inspection requirements. 
Please verify the requirements related to your rental property with your jurisdiction and consider consulting with the real estate attorney on your team.

On March 23, 2015 the Seattle City Council PASSED Council Bill 118340. According to City's website the bill serves to accomplish the following:

"AN ORDINANCE amending Seattle Municipal Code sections 22.206.160 and 22.214.075 to prohibit evictions of residential tenants from rental housing units if the units are not registered [emphasis added] with the Department of Planning and Development as required by SMC 22.214.040"

Council members Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen voted in favor of passage with no opposition.  Council members are non-partisan and are elected at large to serve four-year, overlapping terms through citywide elections held in odd-numbered years. So each Seattle's Council members represents all who live in Seattle. Links to each of Seattle's Council Members web sites can be found on the following page:

Related links:

City of Seattle - Registering Your Rental Property

City of Seattle - Inspection Checklist

City of Seattle - Seattle City Council Meeting Agenda, March 23, 2015 See agenda item number six

City of Seattle - Seattle Laws on Property Owner and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Seattle Landlords also see the following PDF document: City of Seattle - Memo re Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance

The preceding statements are not intended as legal advise.
Please consult your Washington State licensed attorney for details.
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