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Rental Registration & Inspection Code

What Is It?

The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) helps ensure that all rental housing in Seattle is safe and meets basic housing maintenance requirements. The program educates property owners, managers, and renters about City housing codes and their responsibilities; and requires owners to verify that their properties meet these standards when registering with the City.

Registration:

  • The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance requires landlords to register all rental housing units in Seattle, from single-family houses to large apartment buildings.
  • Exceptions to the registration requirement include commercial lodging, state-licensed facilities such as adult family homes, and housing owned by government groups or by housing authorities such as Seattle Housing Authority. See the ordinance for more detail.
  • Landlords must register their properties as soon as they have a tenant in the rental space.
  • Registrations must be renewed every 5 years.

Inspection:

  • The ordinance requires that all registered rental properties be inspected at least once every 10 years.
  • The owner must hire a qualified rental housing inspector or City inspector to do the inspections.

This ordinance does not cover complaint-based enforcement of City housing standards. We will continue our complaint-based process for housing code violations. Our City housing and zoning inspectors will continue to enforce all housing code standards and other applicable codes.

Read the Code

Read the text of the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance.

Recent Changes

City Council recently approved amendments to the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance to improve the RRIO program’s ability to identify and address safety and maintenance problems in rental housing. These amendments, effective August 14, 2017, resulted from a stakeholder process that we hosted in Spring 2016. Our legislation also includes changes to the Housing and Building Maintenance Code to support the RRIO changes, update certain technical standards, and clean up confusing sections of the code. See our RRIO & Housing Code Update page for more information.

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