Rental Registration Starting soon
You can find a copy of the City’s Informational Flyer HERE.
–You will note that the Registration Cost is $8-$10 dollars. What that means is that if you have 20 units or less, you will pay $10/unit for registration; owners with 21 units or more will pay $8/unit.
–There are exemptions from the ENTIRE act, most notably – mobile homes and homes outside the Bellingham City Limits.
–There are units that are exempt from the registration fee, but still must register: Those are Owner-occupied structures containing two units (read: duplex; detached ADU; house converted into two apartments), a house that is owner-occupied with and ATTACHED ADU, or a unit that is subject to inspection at least every three years as part of a government program (Section 8).
–The following information is required to register: Property address and parcel number(s); contact information for the Owner; and number of rental units on the property.
–The Owner will be required to certify that the property is free from threats to life and safety. Property managers who complete the form for Owners will be able to sign that certification.
There have been some questions about the registration period.
The “Initial” registration period is July 1, 2015 to August 1, 2015. The City states that registration will close after that date. Most questions center around rentals that come into being after August 1, 2015. We do not have an answer for that but it has been asked to the City. I’m almost positive that the intent was to register existing rentals during the initial period and then take new registrations afterward.
How does that prevent someone from saying the rental was just created?? I don’t know.
The registration will be transferable, however, there is not an established process for that. My suggestion is that if a transfer occurs, be sure that the seller and buyer have agreed to contact the City to request transfer of the registration.
There are financial penalties. Continuing to rent a unit without a valid registration is a violation of City Ordinance. The penalties imposed are $200/day for the first 10 days; $500/day every day thereafter.
There are also fines for not registering on time. They range from $50 – $120 based on the number of units and the time elapsed.
Late Fee 1-60 Days Late
61 or More Days Late All prior fees as established by this schedule plus all costs associated with collection
Inspections will begin in January 2016
There is a PROPOSED Inspection checklist that is being considered by City staff. You can find itHERE!
While there is some discussion that this may change in the coming weeks, my honest assessment is that it will not change much. The City’s intent was to ensure that these inspections would be completed in no more than 15-20 minutes.
If you have any comments on the inspection items, please do not hesitate to contact me. We will be taking those concerns to future meetings with Planning staff and need to know what you think!
|City Website/Contact Information
The City has established a website with all the latest information and downloads. It is located at: http://www.cob.org/