City’s Rental Housing Inspection Program now accepting registrations

The City of Kent’s Economic and Community Development Department is now accepting online registrations by property owners of all Kent rental properties, including all single-family and multi-family rental units.

The deadline to register Kent rental properties is Nov. 1, 2018.

The registration process is the first step in implementing the Rental Housing Inspection Program, adopted in March by the Kent City Council. The goal of the program is to ensure that all rental properties in the city maintain certain standards. By registering a rental property, the city can better understand the rental housing options and living conditions in our community.

Starting in 2019, apartment owners will be required to conduct inspections every three years to ensure their units are safe and healthy for their tenants. The city will create a list of private, qualified housing inspectors, whom the landlords will then hire to inspect their units for compliance using a checklist the city has created that addresses basic building safety and sanitation.

Inspections will focus on a certain percentage of a rental community’s units every three years; the percent varies based on the total number of units. Failed inspections will require improvements to the units until they are in compliance. Documentation of satisfactory inspections will be required to renew a property’s business license.

“It’s important that all Kent residents have a safe and healthy place to live. Creating the Rental Housing Inspection Program is a huge step toward holding landlords accountable and improving living conditions in rental units throughout the city. Other cities have implemented similar programs with great results,” said Erin George, current planning manager. “We are excited to be able to offer the same type of program to Kent residents.”

The following are exempt from inspections: hotels/motels, nursing homes, hospitals, correctional facilities, shelters/transitional housing and rentals operated by a government agency. Single-family rental homes are currently exempt from inspections but may be added to the program in the future.

Tenants are also invited to register the Kent properties they rent, but property owners must still register all their Kent rental properties.

To learn more about the program, or to register your property or residence, visit KentWA.gov/RentalHousingInspection.