Rental Housing Inspection Program

The Burien City Council approved on September 16, 2019 Burien’s first rental housing inspection program. The new program will be designed to help the City of Burien proactively monitor housing conditions in rental units, and help prevent habitability issues that have occurred in buildings in the past. The former rental housing license program requirements to renew your City of Burien rental housing license by July 31 of each year has been repealed. 

All landlords will be required to have a rental housing business license by January 1, 2021 with an annual expiration date of December 31. Landlords will be able to apply for their rental housing licenses through the City’s new rental housing business license portal in December 2020, when the system is anticipated to go live. 

For questions about this program, please contact the Rental Housing Inspection Program Coordinator at

If you would like to report a code enforcement issue, you can submit a report to our online Report an Issue system.


The ordinance requires a health and safety inspection of the following rental housing types located within Burien city limits by a qualified inspector every three years. Only 20 percent of units will be inspected by every three years.

  • Apartments
  • Duplexes
  • Triplexes
  • Four-plexes

The following housing types are exempt from the inspection requirement: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, mobile homes, manufactured homes, hotels, motels, institutions, shelters, transitional housing, accessory dwelling units, and rental units owned, operated, managed, or inspected by a government agency.

Rental Housing Business License Fees

New rental housing business license fees go into effect August 17, 2020, but will not be assessed until the program begins in January 2021. The fees help pay for the implementation and maintenance of Burien’s rental housing inspection program.

  • Buildings with 1-10 units: $250 per year
  • Buildings with 11-50 units: $380 per year
  • Buildings with 51 plus units: $675 per year


Owners of properties that do not meet the health and safety standards will need to make repairs and pass a re-inspection prior to renewing their multi-family business license. Failure to do so may result in penalty fees and business license revocation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays for the inspection?

The landlord.

Who can be an inspector?

Starting in 2021, the City of Burien maintains a list of approved inspectors.

I’m an inspector and want to be on the list.

Send your contact information to with subject line “add me to inspector list”