Chapter 5.26


5.26.010    License required.

5.26.020    Inspection required.

5.26.030    Violations.

5.26.010 License required.

A. No person shall make available for rent, or rent, lease, or let, to the public any residential dwelling unit as defined in subsection (B) of this section without securing and maintaining a current business license as required by subsection (C) of this section. For purposes of this chapter, the reference “to the public” includes any rental by an owner to a third party where the owner is not a full-time resident of the residential dwelling unit and includes any rental to a third party regardless of familial relationship, whether by blood or marriage.

B. Dwelling Units. Any person renting or making available for rent to the public any dwelling unit shall secure a license registering each dwelling unit including a certification warranting that each such dwelling unit complies with the Uniform Housing Code as adopted by the city and does not present conditions that endanger or impair the health or safety of the tenants. For the purpose of this section, “dwelling unit” shall mean a structure or that part of a structure which is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons maintaining a common household, including but not limited to single-family residences and units of multiplexes, apartment buildings, and mobile homes. The annual business license fee shall be payable for each independent landlord who makes a rental dwelling unit available for rental to the public by the applicant. All revenues received from this business license fee shall be utilized for the cost of issuance of the license provided herein and the administration of this chapter.

Issuance of the business license shall be contingent upon submission of the certificate of inspection, as required by this chapter, payment of the fee provided herein and compliance with this chapter.

C. Business License Fee for Rental Dwellings. All persons subject to this chapter shall obtain a business license by paying the following fee to the city clerk:

Rental Dwellings – includes all units owned by one landlord


D. If the license fee is not paid within 30 days of January 1st, the sum of $30.00 shall be assessed as a penalty.

E. The sum of $60.00 shall be assessed as a penalty if the license fee is not paid within 90 days after January 1st. An additional $60.00 penalty shall be assessed for each 30-day period thereafter that the license is not obtained as required. (Ord. 1203 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1128 § 2, 2011).

5.26.020 Inspection required.

A. As a condition for the issuance of a license provided by this chapter, the applicant shall provide a certificate of inspection for all rental units on a rental property or for so many of the applicant’s rental dwelling units as are required to be inspected per RCW 59.18.125. If a rental property provides a certificate of inspection for a sample of units and a selected unit fails the initial inspection, then 100 percent of the units are required to provide a certificate of inspection. These inspections are to comply with the standards of the Uniform Housing Code and do not present conditions that endanger or impair the health or safety of a tenant including:

1. Structural members that are insufficient in size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety;

2. Exposure of the occupants to the weather;

3. Plumbing and sanitation defects that directly expose the occupants to the risk of illness or injury;

4. Lack of water, including hot water;

5. Heating or ventilation systems that are not functional or are hazardous;

6. Defective, hazardous, or missing electrical wiring or electrical service;

7. Defective or inadequate exits that increase the risk of injury to occupants;

8. Violations that increase the risks of fire; or

9. Violations of other applicable codes, rules or regulations.

B. Timing of Inspection. To facilitate the availability of an inspection by each applicant, at the time of application, an inspection renewal period shall be established upon which the applicant shall submit its initial certificate of inspection and the corresponding renewal date of the certificate of inspection three years thereafter. The renewal periods shall be divided into calendar quarters over a three-year period and assigned to the applicant at the time of registration on a rotational basis. The first calendar quarter shall commence on the first day of January, terminating on the last day of March; the second calendar quarter shall commence on the first day of April and terminate on the last day of June; the third calendar quarter shall commence on the first day of July and terminate on the last day of September; and the fourth calendar quarter shall commence on the first day of October and terminate on the last day of December, with one-third of which shall be scheduled in the third year after registration and the remaining two-thirds being scheduled one-third each in the next two succeeding years. Certificates of inspection shall be submitted no later than the last day of the applicant’s assigned calendar quarter. During the first three years of the implementation of this chapter, the applicant shall be granted a provisional business license pending the timely submission of its initial certificate of inspection.

C. Inspectors. The applicant shall submit a certificate of inspection based upon the physical inspection of the dwelling units conducted not more than 90 days prior to the date of the certificate of inspection and compliance certified by the following:

1. The city of Soap Lake contract building official;

2. Those defined in RCW 59.18.030(1).

D. Other Inspections. Nothing herein shall preclude such additional inspections as may be conducted pursuant to the tenant remedy provided by RCW 59.18.115 of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act; at the request or consent of a tenant, or issued pursuant to a warrant.

E. Any applicant disagreeing with the results of an inspection may appeal those results to the hearing examiner as with any other matter being enforced under Chapter 1.30 SLMC.

F. The city may seek a search warrant to inspect a premises pursuant to RCW 59.18.150. (Ord. 1128 § 2, 2011).

5.26.030 Violations.

A. Any person violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter is declared to have created a public nuisance and shall be subject to administrative enforcement pursuant to Chapters 1.30 and 8.21 SLMC. Each such person is deemed to have committed a separate code violation for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this chapter is committed, continued, or permitted by such person.

B. Any person who knowingly submits or assists in the submission of a falsified certificate of inspection, or knowingly submits falsified information upon which a certificate of inspection is issued, shall, in addition to the penalties provided in subsection (A) of this section, be guilty of false swearing pursuant to RCW 9A.72.040 for each separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of this subsection shall be committed.

C. In addition to the penalties provided above, any violation of this chapter may result in the revocation of the business licenses provided in this title. (Ord. 1128 § 2, 2011).