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It’s important for you to understand your local laws if you want to become an Airbnb host. We provide a platform and marketplace, but we don’t provide legal advice. Even so, we want to share some info to help you understand laws and other rules that relate to short term rentals in Spokane. The information in this article isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you start your research on local laws. Contact the Spokane Taxes and Licenses Department at 509-625-6070 if you have general questions.
This article covers specific information that applies to the City of Spokane. If you live elsewhere in Spokane County or are uncertain of whether your home is within the jurisdiction of the City of Spokane, check with your local city administrator or planning department to find out more.
In May 2015, Spokane’s city council adopted an ordinance that regulates the short term rental of single family residences within city limits. In Spokane, any rental with a duration shorter than 30 days is considered a short term rental, whereas any rental that has a duration of 30 days or more is considered a long term rental.
Spokane generally allows multifamily residence communities (such as apartments or condos) to govern themselves. If you live in a multifamily residence, check with your landlord or community organization to learn about which rules apply to you.
The City of Spokane requires any host to have a business license. You can apply for a Spokane business license or through the State of Washington Business Licensing Service, which also has info about requirements, fees, and renewal schedules. Also check the Spokane business guide for FAQs and more.
Short term rental permit
After you get your business license, you can apply for a short term rental permit through Planning & Development Services. It costs $150 and must be renewed for $100 every December, regardless of when your permit was issued.
Contact the Spokane Planning & Development Services Center at (509) 625-6188 if you have questions.
Airbnb collects and pays a number of taxes on your behalf, including:
- The Washington Combined Sales Tax
- Special Host/Motel Tax
- Convention and Trade Center Tax
- Regional Transit Authority Tax
- Tourism Promotion Area Charges in the State of Washington
All locally imposed taxes on transient lodging will be collected on reservations in Washington. The Special Hotel/Motel Tax is typically 1-5% of the listing price including any cleaning fees for reservations 29 nights and shorter. Other local taxes vary and are only applicable in certain cities and counties.
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract) might also have specific details.
Our commitment to your community
We are committed to working with local officials to clarify how local rules impact the short term rental community. We will continue to advocate for changes that will enable people to rent out their homes.