Chapter 64.37 RCW

SHORT-TERM RENTALS

Sections

64.37.010Definitions.
64.37.020Taxes.
64.37.030Consumer safety.
64.37.040Short-term rental platforms.
64.37.050Liability insurance.


Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Contact" means the operator or the operator's representative who is the point of contact for any short-term rental guest for the duration of the guest's stay in the short-term rental.
(2) "Department" means the department of revenue.
(3) "Dwelling unit" means a residential dwelling of any type, including a single-family residence, apartment, condominium, cooperative unit, or room, in which a person may obtain living accommodations for less than thirty days, but not including duly licensed bed and breakfast, inn, hotel, motel, or timeshare property.
(4) "Fee" means remuneration or anything of economic value that is provided, promised, or donated primarily in exchange for services rendered.
(5) "Guest" means any person or persons renting a short-term rental unit.
(6) "Operator" or "short-term rental operator" means any person who receives payment for owning or operating a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, as a short-term rental unit.
(7) "Owner" means any person who, alone or with others, has title or interest in any building, property, dwelling unit, or portion thereof, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, and including any person who as agent, executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian of an estate has charge, care, or control of any building, dwelling unit, or portion thereof. A person whose sole interest in any building, dwelling unit, or portion thereof is solely that of a lessee under a lease agreement is not considered an owner.
(8) "Person" has the same meaning as provided in RCW 82.04.030.
(9)(a) "Short-term rental" means a lodging use, that is not a hotel or motel or bed and breakfast, in which a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is offered or provided to a guest by a short-term rental operator for a fee for fewer than thirty consecutive nights.
(b) "Short-term rental" does not include any of the following:
(i) A dwelling unit that is occupied by the owner for at least six months during the calendar year and in which fewer than three rooms are rented at any time;
(ii) A dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is used by the same person for thirty or more consecutive nights; or
(iii) A dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is operated by an organization or government entity that is registered as a charitable organization with the secretary of state, state of Washington, or is classified by the federal internal revenue service as a public charity or a private foundation, and provides temporary housing to individuals who are being treated for trauma, injury, or disease, or their family members.
(10) "Short-term rental advertisement" means any method of soliciting use of a dwelling unit for short-term rental purposes.
(11) "Short-term rental platform" or "platform" means a person that provides a means through which an operator may offer a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, for short-term rental use, and from which the person or entity financially benefits. Merely publishing a short-term rental advertisement for accommodations does not make the publisher a short-term rental platform.



Taxes.

Short-term rental operators must remit all applicable local, state, and federal taxes unless the platform does this on the operator's behalf. This includes occupancy, sales, lodging, and other taxes, fees, and assessments to which an owner or operator of a hotel or bed and breakfast is subject in the jurisdiction in which the short-term rental is located. If the short-term rental platform collects and remits an occupancy, sales, lodging, and other tax, fee, or assessment to which a short-term rental operator is subject on behalf of such operator, the platform must collect and remit such tax to the appropriate authorities.



Consumer safety.

(1) All short-term rental operators who offer dwelling units, or portions thereof, for short-term rental use in the state of Washington must:
(a) Provide contact information to all short-term rental guests during a guest's stay. The contact must be available to respond to inquiries at the short-term rental during the length of stay;
(b) Provide that their short-term rental is in compliance with RCW 19.27.530 and any rules adopted by the state building code council regarding the installation of carbon monoxide alarms; and
(c) Post the following information in a conspicuous place within each dwelling unit used as a short-term rental:
(i) The short-term rental street address;
(ii) The emergency contact information for summoning police, fire, or emergency medical services;
(iii) The floor plan indicating fire exits and escape routes;
(iv) The maximum occupancy limits; and
(v) The contact information for the operator or designated contact.
(2) Short-term rental platforms must provide short-term rental operators with a summary of the consumer safety requirements in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) For a first violation of this section, the city or county attorney must issue a warning letter to the owner or operator. An owner that violates this section after receiving a warning letter is guilty of a class 2 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.



Short-term rental platforms.

(1) No short-term rental platform may engage in the business in the state of Washington unless the short-term rental platform is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
(2) A short-term rental platform must register with the department.
(3) Short-term rental platforms must inform all operators who use the platform of the operator's responsibilities to collect and remit all applicable local, state, and federal taxes unless the platform does this on the operator's behalf.
(4) Short-term rental platforms must inform all operators who use the platform of short-term rental safety requirements required in this chapter.
(5) Short-term rental platforms must provide all operators who use the platform with written notice, delivered by mail or electronically, that the operator's personal insurance policy that covers their dwelling unit might not provide liability protection, defense costs, or first party coverage when their property is used for short-term rental stays.



Liability insurance.

A short-term rental operator must maintain primary liability insurance to cover the short-term rental dwelling unit in the aggregate of not less than one million dollars or conduct each short-term rental transaction through a platform that provides equal or greater primary liability insurance coverage. Nothing in this section prevents an operator or a platform from seeking contributions from any other insurer also providing primary liability insurance coverage for the short-term rental transaction to the extent of that insurer's primary liability coverage limits.