New Registrations / License Renewal

All residential rental properties (apartments, homes, duplexes, ADUs, etc.) within Bellingham city limits are required to be registered with the City. 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 See the exemptions page for a list of properties that are exempt from the program.

Fee Schedule

Registration / 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)
​Number of Units​Fee​Number of Units​Fee
​1-20 Units​$10.00 / unit1-4 Units$50.00
​21 or more ​$8.00 / unit5-20 Units$125.00
​21+ Units​$250.00
** 61 or More Days Late: ​ ​ ​ ​All prior fees as established by this schedule, plus all costs associated with collection will be due. 


New Rental Registration

In Person / By Mail: The following information will be needed to successfully complete the Rental Property Registration Form (PDF)

  • The rental property's address and parcel ID number (corresponds to the geographic ID number provided by the Whatcom County Assessor);
  • Number of units the rental property contains; and
  • Contact information for the rental property owner, including mailing address and phone number.

Online: The "how to" Apply for a New Rental Registration instruction sheet will guide you through the necessary steps for registering your unit(s) online at

Annual License Renewal

A current Rental License is valid until the end of the current calendar year. Rental Licenses are required to be renewed every year PRIOR to the license expiration (December 31st) for the future year. For example: If a new Rental Registration is submitted in March 2017, that license is valid until December 31, 2017. For the license to remain valid for the future year 2018, the renewal fee must be paid by the end of the current calendar year (December 31, 2017).

*Please note: There is no registration form is 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.

Online: The "How to Renew you License Online" guide will walk you through the necessary steps for renewing your rental license. 


​Planning and Community Development Department
Rental Registration Specialist
(360) 778-8361 or