"Short-term rental" means temporary lodging for charge or fee at a dwelling for a period of less than one month, or less than 30 continuous days if the rental period does not begin on the first day of the month.
Short-term rental Type 1 means short-term rental at a dwelling that is the owner's principal residence and where either (1) rooms are rented and the owner is personally present at the dwelling during the rental period, or (2) the entire dwelling is rented no more than 90 total days in a calendar year. Portions of calendar days shall be counted as full days. The room(s) for rent may be located within a detached or attached accessory dwelling unit.
Short-term rental Type 2 means short-term rental at a dwelling that is not the owner's principal residence.
City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2017-33, which bans new Type 2 short term rentals (non-owner occupied). Non owner-occupied short-term rentals within the city which existed prior to Nov. 9, 2017, may potentially continue operation as a non-conforming use – provided that the owners applied for a Short Term Rental License before February 1, 2018 and demonstrated the following as part of the permit application:
- Property was used as a short-term rental during 2017 prior to Nov. 9, 2017;
- The property continued as a short-term rental as of Nov. 9, 2017 and was not merely intermittent or occasional;
- The owner fully and timely paid all applicable taxes for short-term rental use that occurred prior to Nov. 9, 2017.
- Obtain a short-term rental permit before advertising and renting.
Keep your short-term rental in good standing by renewing annually.
Only those Type 2 short-term rentals that were lawfully established and existing prior to November 9, 2017 will be allowed as non-conforming uses. Only properties which have a current permit are considered to be lawfully established and existing.
The permit and license must be renewed annually. Applicable standards of Chapter 20.139 must be met and the following renewal requirements must also be met:
- Verification that all lodging taxes for year have been paid to the Washington State Department of Revenue.
- Schedule the annual inspection. Owners are responsible for scheduling the inspection.
- Renewals must provide proof that Type 2 short-term rental use continued throughout the preceding year. If such use has been discontinued or abandoned, then the Type 2 short-term rental must cease operation. Intent to discontinue and abandon shall be presumed if a location was not rented at least a total of 29 days during the preceding year. Discontinued and abandoned uses may not be reestablished, and no permit or license for a discontinued or abandoned Type 2 short-term rental use shall be renewed.
As long as the Type 2 short-term rental has been determined to be lawfully established and existing and the use has not been abandoned, non-conforming status runs with the property. If the new owner continues the property as a Type 2 short-term rental, then the new owner is required to obtain a Type 2 short-term rental permit and license and comply with regulations.
Failure of the owner or the authorized agent or local contact of a Type 2 short-term rental to respond to a nuisance complaint to the Walla Walla Police Department arising out of the occupancy and use of the Type 2 short-term rental by a tenant, or the tenant's visitors or guests is a violation and will be fined as follows:
- First call and violation received is no charge;
- Second call and violation is $750.00; and
- Third call and violation is $1,000.00; and
- Fourth call and violation results in revocation of permit and license.
Type 2 short-term rental use must cease if such use has been discontinued or abandoned. Intent to discontinue and abandon a Type 2 short-term rental use shall be presumed if a location was not rented at least a total of 29 days during the preceding year. An owner may rebut such presumption by presenting proof that the failure to sufficiently rent a location was due to conditions over which the owner had no control. Discontinued and abandoned uses may not be reestablished, and no permit or license for a discontinued or abandoned Type 2 short-term rental use shall be renewed.
Type 2 short-term rental use must cease if a location is not rented for short-term use for 6 consecutive months or more. When a location is not rented for Type 2 short-term use for 6 consecutive months or more, the use shall be deemed vacated even if the use has been unintentionally vacated.
Type 2 permits and licenses may be suspended, modified, or revoked for violations of Chapter 20.139, for violation of any other law on the premises of the short-term rental, or the maintenance of such other conditions as may be shown to be injurious to the public health and safety.
The City will enforce the ordinance as we do the other regulations within the municipal code. See Section 20.139.100 of the amended short-term rental regulations and enforcement is process as outlined in Walla Walla Municipal Code Chapter 20.42.