The city of Bellingham, WA hopes to uphold two primary goals by enforcing its recent ordinance: to maintain stable housing while protecting the safety and rights of owners, neighbors, and guests.

This ordinance requires that all short-term rental operators obtain a vacation rental permit and pay the corresponding fee. Along with the permit, each operator is limited to one short-term rental property in all residential areas and the dwelling must be the owner’s primary residence for 270 days per year, with a 95-day limit that the property can be rented out. Bellingham Municipal Code Section 20.10.037 offers further information on exceptions to these limits.

For the homes in compliance, the city implemented a list of additional guidelines for the homeowner, such as adequate street parking, accessible emergency contact for the guests, and a basic safety inspection of the property. These guidelines, along with the required permit- attempt to strike a balance between welcoming visitors while protecting the economy and community.

Seattle is also implementing new requirements for short-term rentals. Beginning in October, the city will require monthly and quarterly data listing all licensed operators and their online listings along with the number of nights booked.

Why Proper Insurance? Education is Key

Proper understands the unique risks involved in owning and operating a short-term rental and addresses the paramount concern of safety – safety for guests, neighbors, and homeowners. When a homeowner chooses to list their property on Airbnb/Vrbo, they are entrusting their property to each guest that clicks ‘book here’ and pays to stay in their home. As short-term regulations are implemented in more and more states, Proper recognizes that education is key to ensuring sufficient and adequate coverage is in place.

With our commercial insurance program custom penned for the risks of short-term renting, homeowners and neighbors can have the peace of mind knowing that they are protected. If you entrust your property to a paying Airbnb or Vrbo short-term rental guest make sure you have spoken to your insurance broker, and have in writing that your liability coverage extends off premise. While you’re at it, make sure you are covered for theft, vandalism, and intentional acts by guests. 

For further explanation of our coverage, we encourage you to visit our FAQs and click Here for an online quote, or simply give our office a call at 888-631-6680 to speak with an experienced Account Executive.

Regulations are coming. Be educated, be prepared.