Rental Housing

Most forms of renting or leasing residential property in the City of Auburn requires an owner to obtain a Rental Housing License. The purpose of the licensing program is to ensure that non-owner occupied properties are properly maintained and managed.  The licensing program ensures that we have current and accurate property ownership/management information so that we are approaching the correct party when we receive a complaint rather than directing our communications towards tenants.  The following table provides a general overview of the more common types of living arrangements that include some form of property rental or leasing.

Residential Rental Housing Summary

Allowed Residential Zones

City License Requirement

Occupancy Limit

Fees Inspections

Owner Occupied Home: Rental of Rooms

RC, R-1, R-5, R-7, R-10, R-16, R-20


If renting to 2 or fewer persons, no license.

Family +2







If renting to more than 2 persons, an annual City Rental License(PDF) is required.

Family +4

$53 None
Non-Owner Occupied Home: Single Lease Agreement for Entire Home RC, R-1, R-5, R-7, R-10, R16, R-20 An annual City Rental License(PDF) is required for each address. IPMC $53


Non-Owner Occupied Home: More than One Lease Agreement within Home (a.k.a Communal residence) RC, R-1, R-5, R-7, R-10, R-16, R-20 An annual City Rental License(PDF) is required for each address.


$150 An annual inspection is required prior to issuance of City Rental License. Annual Inspection required prior to renewal.
Apartments R-10, R-16, R-20 An annual City Rental License(PDF) is required for the complex. IPMC

1-4 units:$53

5-24 units:$106

>24 units:$212


State Licensed Facilities: Adult Family Home, Group Residence, Assisted Care, Foster Care, Nursing Home, Supportive Housing Varies depending upon the type of facility An annual City Business License Application (PDF) is required for each address. Varies depending upon the type of facility. $50 An initial city inspection is required prior to issuance of the State License.

Residential Rental Housing Details and Resources

The City requires a rental housing business license for anyone renting a unit, either single-family residential or multi-family residential.  The application form is available in the link below.  A rental housing business license is renewed annually with notices sent out by the City of Auburn at the end of November each year.  It is the landlord's responsibility to renew the license by January 1 of each year.  If you operate a communal residence then the landlord is responsible for scheduling an inspection with the City prior to the license or renewal being issued.

The 2018 Crime Free Rental Housing Landlord Training schedule is now available.  For more information or to register, please visit

If you would like to learn more about the rules and licensing requirements for rental housing in the City of Auburn you can review the code citations below.

Ordinances and Regulations

Auburn City Code Chapter 18.04links to external site -  Definitions for Communal Residence, Family, Foster Care Homes, Group Residence Facilities, Renting of Rooms, Assisted Living Facilities, Convalescent Homes, Supportive Housing 

Auburn City Code Chapter 18.07.020links to external site  - Permitted Use Table For Residential Zones

Auburn City Code Chapter 18.31.130links to external site - Communal Residence Standards

Ordinance 6560links to external site - 2015 Communal Residence Code Amendments

Auburn City Code Chapter 5.22links to external site - Rental Housing Business License Requirements

International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)links to external site - The following table is a summary of the requirements of Chapter 4 of the IPMC.  It does not include all IPMC.


Minimum of 70 sq. ft.

If occupied by more than 1 person, an additional 50 sq. ft. per person is required.

Shall comply with building code requirements for light, ventilation, ceiling height and room width.

Living rooms

Minimum of 120 sq. ft. for 1-5 occupants.

Minimum of 150 sq. ft. if occupant by more than 5 occupants.

Dining room

N/A for 1-2 occupants.

Minimum of 80 sq. ft. for 3-5 occupants.

Minimum of 100 sq. ft. for more than 5 occupants.


Every bedroom shall have access to at least one bathroom without passing through another bedroom.

Ventilation must be installed properly.

Kitchens, bathrooms, closets, garages and other non-inhabitable spaces

May not be used for sleeping purposes

Comply with the plumbing, water-heating, heating, electrical, smoke alarm, and emergency escape requirements.

Clothes dryer exhaust systems must be installed and operable.

Kitchen exhaust systems must be installed and operable.

Application Forms

If you have questions regarding the City of Auburn's rental housing program or licensing requirements, please contact us at 253-931-3090 or via email.