In October of 2003, the Tacoma City Council adopted legislation that recognized the rental of real estate as a business activity beginning in January of 2004.
Who needs to get this license?
Any person who rents or leases out real property within the City Limits of Tacoma must obtain a rental business license.
Purpose of Rental Business License
It has been statistically demonstrated that some rental facilities are responsible for a disproportionate share of police and emergency medical calls for service and blighted property conditions. The license fee provides revenues to the City’s general fund to support crime prevention training, education, inspection and code enforcement services. Licensing is also a tool to hold property owners accountable for conditions and activities on their properties.
What if I own multiple properties in Tacoma, do I need a license for each property?
No, only one license is required. Owners must provide a list of all of their City of Tacoma rental properties with application.
I have a property management company that manages my property for me do I still need a rental business license?
Yes, as a rental property owner a rental business license is required. A property management company located within the City of Tacoma has their own business license requirement for the management activities they conduct.
How do I apply?
Please Print & Complete:
City of Tacoma
Tax & License Division
733 Market Street, Room 21
Tacoma, WA 98402-3770
Fee: Annual gross rental income of $12,000 or greater the license fee is $90 annually. Annual gross rental income less than $12,000, an annual $25 fee is required. Gross income is defined as total rent received, including rent from Section 8.
No Longer Renting Property in Tacoma? Click here to notify Tax & License with an email. Please include your name and contract account number. We will close your account and remove you from any further mailings Please Note: This in-box is not worked daily, therefore if you have questions regarding the rental business licenses or need additional information please call Tax & License at 253-591-5252 to speak to a customer service representative.
Need to update your rental property address(es)? Click for the Supplemental Rental Property License Application. You may mail your updated form to our office; or email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org; please be sure to include your Contract Account Number on the form.
Crime Free Housing Program. The Tacoma Crime Free Housing Program (CFHP) is a public safety partnership that assists residents, owners and managers of rental properties in keeping drugs and other illegal activity off their property. Click here for more information.
Are you a landlord or a tenant with questions about Landlord Tenant Laws? The City of Tacoma is focused on improving the quality of life for the citizens of Tacoma by providing housing related services to housing providers who own and/or operate housing within the City of Tacoma limits.
City of Tacoma, Human Rights & Human Services Department
747 Market Street, Room 836
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-591-5163(voice) 253-591-5153(TTY) 253-591-5050(fax)
PROVISIONAL RENTAL PROPERTY LICENSE
EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2012
Provisional Rental Property License Tacoma Municipal Code Chapter 6B.165.
Ordinance 27967 amending Title 6B of the Tacoma Municipal Code adding new Chapter 6B.165, Provisional Rental Property.
The Tacoma City Council finds that rental housing is a valuable community asset, providing homes for all income levels. The City recognizes that quality rental housing is a partnership between owners, tenants, and the City. The City finds that 3 to 5 percent of homes in Tacoma are below the minimum building standards and appear to violate RCW 59.18.060. As a result, to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and the maintenance of quality rental housing for Tacoma citizens, the City Council is establishing a residential provisional rental property license program to prevent and correct conditions in residential rental units that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It is the purpose of this section to assure that rental housing within the City is actively operated and maintained in compliance with RCW 59.18.060. Providing for a provisional rental property license is intended to address that small percentage of housing that endangers renters and bring that housing into compliance with state law.
Provisional Rental Property License-FAQ's
What is the Provisional Rental Property License?
The provisional license is a regulatory license that the City can require property owners to obtain. One of the requirements of the provisional license is a certificate of inspection that will demonstrate that their property does not endanger the health or safety of tenants. The provisional license is based on State Legislation adopted in 2010 and consistent with the Landlord-Tenant Act.
Who does it affect? Do I have to apply for a Provisional Property License?
The provisional license is not required for all rental property owners. The provisional license only applies to rental housing units after a complaint is received and after an initial exterior building inspection demonstrates that the building condition does not meet the established threshold for tenant health and safety. Homeowners will be contacted by City officials if their property needs a Provisional Rental Property License.
For more information regarding the Provisional Rental License read the FAQ's or contact Tax & License at 253-591-5252. To ensure your property meets the standards set forth in the State Landlord Tenant Act, Title 59, Section 59.18.060 download the Guide to Residential Rental Inspection form.
Need a residential inspector?
If you have been notified that you need to obtain a Provisional Rental License and need a residential inspection click here to see our list of inspectors who have taken the City of Tacoma training class. The class reviews the requirements of the Provisional Rental Property License and what to look for during an inspection. You may also obtain your own inspector as long as they meet the criteria of a “qualified inspector" as defined in TMC 6B.165.
Are you an inspector?
To be added to the City's list of inspectors please contact Dan McConaughy at 253-591-2047 for more information. Click here for the Provisional Rental License Residential Inspection form.