As of March 9, 2015 all residential rental properties (apartments, homes, duplexes, ADUs, etc.) within Bellingham city limits are required to be registered with the City, except for those units that meet the criteria that qualifies them for an exemption from the program. The program is designed to ensure that all rental housing units comply with specific life & fire safety standards and are providing a safe place for tenants to live.
A current Rental License is valid until the end of the current calendar year, and must be renewed by December 31st to be valid for the upcoming year (regardless of which month it was registered in). For example: If a new Rental Registration is submitted in March 2018, that license is valid until December 31, 2018. For the license to remain valid for the future year 2019, the renewal fee must be paid by the end of the current calendar year (December 31, 2018).
Renew Rental Licenses:
There is no registration form needed for the annual renewal, and there is no new certificate issued when a license is renewed. As long as the renewal fee has been paid for that year, the rental license is valid.
- In Person / By Mail: Bring, or mail your payment to: Finance Department, 210 Lottie St., Bellingham WA 98225. Please reference your license # or address when submitting payment.
NOTE: Many rental properties have a Bellingham address, but are not within the city limits. If you are not sure whether your rental property is within Bellingham's city limits, please contact the RR&SIP program specialist at (360) 778-8361 or email@example.com.
Renewal fees can be paid with check, cash, money order, or credit card. When mailing in a registration form, please pay with check or money order only, checks should be made out to "City of Bellingham". The
exemptions page contains a list of properties that are exempt from paying the registration fee. The fee is calculated based on the number of units an individual property contains.
*Note: The entire rental property portfolio is not what is used to determine the fee. For example: a rental property owner has three properties, each with 10 units. They will pay $10 per unit for each property, NOT $8 per unit despite having a total portfolio of 30 units.
Annual Registration / Renewal Fees ||
Program Late Fees (1-60 Days Late)|
1-20 Units||$10.00 / unit||
21 or more ||
$8.00 / unit||5-20 Units||