Landlords and Property Managers

Much of Bremerton’s housing is rentals, which makes you an invaluable contributor to our community. Renting is a complicated business, and there is a lot to know before you hand over the keys.

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Unit Safety

When you are renting a home to a tenant you are responsible for making sure that the unit is safe and up to code. The minimum standards are in the Bremerton Municipal Code’s City Building Code section.

This means that it must comply with, to name a few:

  • Space and Occupancy Standards
    • This includes the minimum sizes for rooms, windows, and ventilation.
  • Structural and Maintenance Standards
    • This includes foundations, roofs, chimneys, fireplaces, walls, and weather-tightness.
  • Mechanical Standards
    • This refers to heating, ventilation, and electrical systems.
  • Fire and Safety
    • This includes stairs, fire escapes, exits, and guardrails.
  • Security
    • This refers to entry doors, windows, and observation points.

Maintenance and Landscaping

It is your responsibility to maintain your unit and make sure the landscaping and exterior of the property are presentable and contributing to the neighborhood. Garbage, even if it isn’t yours, cannot be allowed to accumulate outside the home. Some other examples of problems you must fix if they are present on your rental property are junk vehicles, graffiti, nuisance vegetation, dilapidated fences, or unsafe structures. See a brochure with more details here. If your property is in violation of these requirements, you could be fined, even if your tenant caused the issue.

Landlord License

Anyone renting or leasing real property inside Bremerton city limits is required to obtain a general business license, as provided in Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) 3.48.025 by filling out a Landlord Business License Application (PDF). A Landlord License fee is $75. Not sure if you live in the city of Bremerton? Visit Kitsap County's Parcel Search to determine if you live within city limits.

Additionally, BMC 5.06 (effective January 1, 2014) requires landlords to provide the city with a complete listing of all rental properties inside Bremerton city limits. The list along with and an email address or other acceptable method of contact must be provided to the Bremerton Police Department for participation in the Landlord Notification Program (PDF).

Landlords must also sign a declaration that all dwelling units comply with Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 59.18.060 of the Landlord Tenant Act and do not present conditions that endanger or impair the health or safety of the tenants.

The Landlord Checklist (PDF) should be used as a guide for determining that the dwelling units meet the minimum standards of the Landlord Tenant Act. 

You may renew and make changes to your landlord licenses online. To do so, please visit the Landlord License Online Center website.

For more information, please contact the Tax & License Division:

Email
Mailing: 345 6th St., Suite 100
Bremerton, WA 98337
Ph: 360-473-5311

If an issue arises that would be covered under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA) or other State or Federal law, the reader should seek legal counsel and ultimately refer to State or Federal law. This document should only serve as an introduction to what is covered in state and federal law and does not constitute legal advice. This article was written in 2020; for up-to-date information see City, State, and Federal law.