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Rental Registration & Inspection Ordinance

Improving and preserving safe and healthy housing for all Seattle renters.

How to Register Your Property

The best way to register your property is to use our new online registration program. Please read the instructions listed below before you register. We will post more information on how to register online when the registration system is available. You will have the option to register in person or by mail. When you register your property, you will also be asked to declare that the property and available rental units meet the standards described in the RRIO Checklist. This is known as the RRIO Declaration of Compliance.

When are the Registration Deadlines?

Rental properties must be registered by the following deadlines:

  • All properties with 10 or more units should have registered by September 30, 2014. If you own one of these properties and have not yet registered, you will be assessed a $20 late fee and you may be subject to additional penalties and fees.
  • All properties with 5 – 9 units must be registered by March 31, 2015.
  • Single-family, duplex, triplex, and fourplex properties with rental units will be registered throughout 2015 and 2016. We will base specific deadlines for these properties on the ZIP code where the property is located. See our complete schedule to find out when you need to register your property.

Some government-owned, government-operated, and institutional rental housing may not need to be registered. Find out if your property may meet the registration exceptions.

What You Will Need

To register a property, you will need some basic information about the property:

  • The parcel number for the rental property, which can be found on the King County Assessor's website. If you check the box at the bottom, you will be taken to a page where you can enter your property address to receive your parcel number.
  • Three contact types for each property registered: Applicant, Owner(s), and Tenant Contact for Repair.
  • The number of rental units on your property.

What are the Registration Fees?

The fee is $175 for a property and its first rental unit, plus $2 for each additional unit. For example:

  • A 1-unit rental property, like a single-family home, is $175
  • A 2-unit rental property is $177
  • A 10-unit property is $193

Payments can be made by credit card, check, or cash. Our online registration system only accepts payment by credit card. If you wish to pay your registration fee using a check after registering online (but before payment), follow these instructions.

Your RRIO registration fee is good for 5 years from the date you register your property.

How Do I Get an Inspection?

We will start inspecting registered properties in early 2015 by notifying property owners when their rental property needs to be inspected. You can hire either City inspectors or qualified private inspectors. If you hire a City inspector, the inspection fee will be $130 for the property including the first unit, and $25 for each additional unit being inspected on the same property. We will only inspect a portion of registered properties each year, and inspect all properties at least once every 10 years.

Note: You may not need a RRIO inspection if you've already had an inspection by one of the pre-qualified agencies listed below. You will need to provide us with a letter or email indicated you have passed the property inspection conducted by one of these alternate agencies.

Violations and Penalties

If you do not follow the RRIO requirements, we may issue a violation and penalties, and we may take legal action. Our goal is to work with you to make sure you meet our requirements. If you face RRIO penalties or a violation, call us immediately to resolve the situation before the penalties grow and become a costly lawsuit.

You may get a violation for:

  • Not registering a rental housing property by the due date
  • Not completing a property inspection by the due date
  • Renting a property to tenants that does not meet the minimum standards in the RRIO checklist

Penalties are $150 per day for the first 10 days and $500 per day after that.

Once you receive a Notice of Violation letter, you must comply or contact us immediately about one of the other choices, such as an extension or appeal. You may request a review of the violation of penalties by following the steps in this instruction sheet.

If you do not comply or request review, we will send the case to the City Attorney’s office to file a law suit to compel you to meet the RRIO requirement and pay the penalties. We will notify you when we refer the violation to the City Attorney.

For more information, download our RRIO Violations and Penalties flyer.

Learn More About RRIO

For more information about RRIO, see our About RRIO page.

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