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Rental License Renewal / New Registrations

​All residential rental properties (apartments, homes, duplexes, ADUs, etc.) within Bellingham city limits are required to be registered with the City. Many "Bellingham" addresses are for properties that are actually in unincorporated areas - not within city limits. Please use Ci​t​y IQ​ to make sure the property you are interested in actually falls within the City of Bellingham.  ​Although there are select units that meet the criteria that qualifies them for an exemption from the program (registration/inspection fees), most of the units will need to obtain a rental license and will be subject to the safety inspections. 

A 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. Use this "how to" guide for step-by-step instructions on renewing your license through the etrakit system, or if renewing in person / by mail - payment should be delivered to Finance Department, 210 Lottie St., Bellingham WA 98225. See below for payment options.

Register NEW Rental Unit(s)

Our online permitting / license program will allow you to manage most of the things associated with your license right from your own personal computer. Use this "how to" guide for step-by-step instructions on registering your unit through the etrakit system.

The electronic registration application can be filled out and either emailed to rentals@cob.org or printed and mailed to Rental Registration Program - 210 Lottie St., Bellingham WA 98225. When mailing in a registration form, please pay with check or money order only, checks should be made out to "City of Bellingham". *Note: This form can also be printed and filled in by hand.

Registration Fees

Once the application is processed, you will receive a "fee sheet" (invoice) detailing the amount due on your account (unless the fee was paid with your application). We do as much corresponding by email as possible, so if you have an email but did not enter it on your application, send us a quick note at rentals@cob.org. If there is no email on file, we are happy to mail the invoice to the primary contact listed.

Registration fees can be paid with check, cash, money order, or credit card. Please reference your license # or address when submitting payment.  

  • In Person / By Mail: Payments can be brought or mailed to Finance Department, 210 Lottie St., Bellingham WA 98225.
  • Online: Visit www.cob.org/epermits and log-in to account - click on the unpaid fees to prompt payment screen

Registration Fees for 1-20 Units

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, it is the individual properties. For example: a rental property owner has three separate 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.

​Registration Fee (Annual Renewal Fee)Late Fee (1-60 days late)No Payment (90 days late)
​​$10.00 / unit

$50.00 (for 1-4 Units)

$125.00 (for 5-20 Units)

$250.00 ( 21+ Units)

License is suspended and code enforcement action may be taken

Registration Fees for 21 or more Units 

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, it is the individual properties. For example: a rental property owner has three separate 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.

​Registration Fee (Annual Fee)Late Fee (1-60 days late)No Payment (90 days late)
​​$8.00 / unit

$50.00 (for 1-4 Units)

$125.00 (for 5-20 Units)

$250.00 ( 21+ Units)

License is suspended and code enforcement action may be taken

Certificate of Registration

A Certificate of Registration will be issued once the application has been process and the $10.00 fee has posted to your account. We will email (or mail if no email is provided) the certificate to the primary contact we have listed, and it will also be made viewable on your 'dashboard' if you use our online permitting / license program to manage your license.   

Inspections

As your application is being processed, the rental registration team will determine if your unit is subject to an inspection during the current quarter, or if it will be postponed to the next round of inspections your neighborhood is assigned to. For more information, check out the Safety Inspections webpage.

contacts

​Planning and Community Development Department
Rental Registration Specialist
(360) 778-8361 or rentals@cob.org