Information for Landlords

Burien has made rental housing changes to ensure safe, healthy, and thriving rental housing in our community, including:

  • replacing the Burien-managed rental license fee with a rental housing business license.
  • establishing a rental housing inspection program to begin January 2021.
  • adopting a rental housing security policy.

Annual Rental Housing Business License

(Burien Municipal Code § 5.62.040) 

Burien has changed its rental license fee to an annual rental housing business license that is managed by the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service (BLS). Burien property owners or management companies (landlords) renting or leasing a Burien residential housing unit must obtain and maintain an annual rental housing business license. Single-family residences, mobile or manufactured homes, condominiums and townhomes, units unavailable for rent, short-term rentals, shelters, and transitional housing, government-managed units, and accessory dwelling units are exempt from this requirement.

 The 2021 rental housing business license fees for each residential rental property complex are:

  • 1-10 rentable units is $250 per year.
  • 11-50 rentable units is $625 per year.
  • 51 or more rentable units is $750 per year.

To apply, visit the Washington State Department of Revenue website or call 360-705-6741, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Rental Housing Inspection Program

(Burien Municipal Code, Chapter 5.62)

Burien has established a rental housing inspection program to encourage improved maintenance of rental housing. Each landlord must ensure that at least 20% of rental units subject to inspection be inspected every three years.  The inspection program begins in 2021.  Please see the Rental Housing Inspection Program webpage for more information.

Rental Housing Security Policy

(Burien Municipal Code, Chapter 5.63)

Burien’s Rental Housing Security Policy requires landlords to distribute information packets to tenants, allows a tenant to make payments in installments, requires notice of the proposed sale of low-income housing, and requires just cause for evictions.

Download the information packet for landlords to provide to tenants: Renting in Burien Handbook:  A Guide for Landlords and Tenants.

En EspañolManual de alquiler en Burien (Renting in Burien Handbook).

Notice of Resources

Download the resource summary for landlords to provide to tenants when serving notice under RCW 59.12.030: Renting in Burien Handbook - Resources.

En español: Manual de alquiler en Burien - recursos (Renting in Burien Handbook - Resources).

Low-income Housing Notice of Proposed Sale

(Burien Municipal Code § 5.63.060)

Owners of a multifamily rental housing building with five or more housing units that rents for an affordable amount to households at or below 80 percent of area median income shall give Burien written notice of the owner’s intent to sell the building at least 60 calendar days before the building is listed for sale.

Just Cause Eviction

(Burien Municipal Code § 5.63.070)

In Burien, landlords must have at least one of the following “just cause reasons” to evict a tenant.

  1. The tenant fails to comply with a notice to pay or vacate.
  2. The tenant habitually fails to pay rent on time.
  3. The tenant breaches a material rental requirement after receiving a 10-day notice to comply.
  4. The tenant habitually fails to comply with the material terms of the rental agreement.
  5. The owner wants a member of his/her immediate family to occupy the unit as their principal residence under circumstances identified in the ordinance.
  6. The owner wants to sell the dwelling unit and has given the tenant at least 90 days’ written notice.
  7. The tenant only lived there due to employment and the employment relationship is terminated.
  8. The owner plans substantial rehabilitation in the building after giving the tenant 120 days’ notice.
  9. The owner elects to demolish the building to convert it after giving the tenant 120 days’ notice.
  10. The owner seeks to discontinue the use of a housing unit unauthorized by BMC Title 19.
  11. The owner seeks to reduce the number of individuals living in the unit under BMC Title 15.
  12. An emergency order requiring the unit to be vacated and closed.
  13. The owner seeks to discontinue sharing with a tenant of the owner’s housing unit.
  14. The tenant is engaging in or permitting criminal activity to occur on or near the property.

Landlord Resources

For more information about Burien’s rental housing program e-mail renting@burienwa.gov or call 206-241-4647.

Updated May 13, 2021