If you feel your unit qualifies for an exemption from the Rental Registration and Safety Inspection Program (RR&SIP), fill out and submit Exemption Declaration Form. This document can be submitted by mail or in person at the Permit Center, 210 Lottie St., Bellingham, WA 98225 – or by email at rentals@cob.org.  

Exempt from the entire RR&SIP:

Housing units that meet one of the following criteria are exempt from participating in the program at this time.  

  • Units unavailable for rent or outside the city limits;
  • Accommodations in hotels, motels, inns or similar facilities for transient guests (except for units occupied by non-transient guests);
  • Retirement or nursing homes and housing within any hospital or State licensed medical care facility, service care facility, convent, monastery or other housing occupied exclusively by members of a religious order;
  • Mobile or manufactured homes (these fall within the jurisdiction of Washington State Labor and Industries); and
  • Shelters for transitional housing.

Exempt from fees and inspection, not registration:

Housing units that can be described using any of the following criteria are required to register the property, but will not be required to pay registration fee or be subject to inspections on the unit.

  •  Owner-occupied buildings containing two units
    •  A single family residence that the owner occupies with an accessory dwelling unit that is rented out;
    •  A single family residence with an accessory dwelling unit that the owners occupies;
    •  A single family residence that has been converted into two apartments, one of which the owner occupies; or
    •  A duplex in which the owner occupies one of the units.;
  • Units owned, operated or managed by a government agency or authority or are specifically exempted from a fee by state or federal law, however, once government ownership, operation or management ceases so does the exemption for fee payment;
  • Rental units that receive funding or subsidies from federal, state or local government, and that are inspected at least once every three years as a condition of that funding; and
  • Accessory dwelling units that are attached to a single family residential unit AND the owner of the property resides in either of those housing units.

Do I need to register if I am renting out bedrooms in the property I own and live in?

No, you would not be subject to a rental registration license, but you may be required to obtain a short-term rental license depending on how the bedrooms are being rented out.



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