Beginning in 2019, all rental properties located within the City of Seattle will be required to renew their rental registration license. We recently learned the city is proposing drastic changes to the fee and licensing requirements. The below information is proposed and any changes must be approved by the city council.
First, the city is proposing to amend the renewal cycle to a once every two-year renewal. Previously, the program required renewal once every five years.
Second, the city proposes changing the fee schedule to "create a more equitable fee structure" and to "better align fees with the work performed." In 2014, rental properties were charged $175 per building plus $2 for each additional unit in the rental property. For a 100 unit property, the cost was $373 for five years.
The city is proposing to increase the fee to $70 per building and $15 for each additional unit. The proposed increase would require a $1,610 license every two years in a 100 unit building.
Additional changes are being proposed and include new fees.
We are assessing opportunities to engage members of the Seattle City Council to further discuss this proposal.
History of the Program:
Seattle's Rental Registration and Inspection (RRIO) program was established in 2012 after a state law authorizing rental inspection programs was passed. The program currently requires all rental properties to register with the city once every 5 years. The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance was amended in 2017, based on a few failed inspections that identified loopholes.
All properties with 10+ units were required to register by September 30, 2014.
All properties are inspected once every 5 to 10 years.