Rental Registration and Inspections – Do They Impact You?

The City of Seattle has passed new regulations regarding rental property that are now in effect. The goal of the regulations is to improve and maintain the quality of Seattle’s rental housing over time. The program will benefit Seattle residents by:

  • Preserving neighborhoods and quality of life
  • Educating property owners, inspectors, and renters about the RRIO standards and encouraging proper maintenance of rental housing
  • Ensuring all rental properties meet the same minimum standards through periodic inspections
  • Creating clear communication methods between rental property owners and the City in the event of emergencies

The ordinance requires landlords to register all rental housing units, including single family homes.  The stated purpose is to ensure that all rental housing is safe and meets basic housing maintenance requirements.

Landlords must register their property according to the following schedule:

  • All properties with 10 or more rental housing units – By September 30, 2014
  • All properties with 5 to 9 rental housing units – By March 31, 2015
  • All properties with 1 to 4 rental housing units – Due date determined by zip code

The ordinance requires all registered rental properties to be inspected at least once every 10 years, starting in 2015.

The city website has more information about RROI, including fees and inspectors:

What does this mean for buyers?

If you’re thinking of buying an investment property, a home with a legal ADU, or even a home with a non-comforing ADU, this impacts you. You will need to register your rental and adhere to the regulations and requirements for the conditions of this property. Here’s the link to the checklist.

What does this mean for property owners?

If you own a rental property, you will be required to register your property by the date listed above and meet the criteria as listed in the checklist. This includes legal and non-conforming ADUs, condos you’re renting, prior homes, and any other rental property. If you don’t want to do all this, maybe it’s time to sell.

Please give me a call at 206-790-0081 or email for more information or to discuss your situation and your buying or selling options.