Seattle Short Term Rental Regulations


Short term rental in Seattle, Washington are only allowed to operate in structures established as dwelling units.

They are not allowed to operate in:

  • RV's
  • Tents
  • Garages
  • Boats
  • Floating/waterfront properties
  • Commercial/industrial buildings
  • Live-work properties
  • Anything else that is not an established dwelling unit

To operate a short term rental in the city of Seattle, Washington each property is required to get a license before being able to rent out.

It will have to be renewed 12 months after the day that it is issued. If property owners don't get a valid license by Dec. 15th, 2019, there will be penalties issued.

If the property is not the primary residence of the owner (their home), then the property must be registered under the RRIO - Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance program.

It is prohibited to have more than eight people occupy the property.

Code requirements:

  • Parking
  • Noise
  • Housing
  • Building
  • State
  • County health regulations (if serving food to guests)
  • Any other codes that are required.


There are multiple types of licenses that are required to operate a short term rental in the city of Seattle.

Types of licenses:

  • Seattle business license tax certificate that all businesses in Seattle must obtain to operate
  • Short term rental regulatory (operation) license (required to have the business license before being able to apply for a short term rental regulatory license)
  • Transient accommodation license (if required by the state department of health)

To ask any questions about getting a license, email or call 206-684-8484.

Fines and Fees

Types of taxes that are required by the State Department of Revenue can be found on the state Department of Revenue website.

If the property owner/ manager receives a violation and don't get it fixed in a specified amount of time, the city is allowed to fine the property owner $150-$500 a day until the violation is fixed.

The city will charge for the inspections of the property too.

For more information visit the city of Seattle website

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