Updated: Feb 22
Nestled amongst the Cascade Mountains is Leavenworth, a Bavarian-German style town known for its extensive Christmas-themed festivals. But beyond just the holidays, brats, and beer, Leavenworth is also an immaculately beautiful city.
The city’s hotels and motels often book-up during busy tourist times, so owning an Airbnb there can be a highly profitable endeavor.
To help regulate the rental market, the City of Leavenworth has implemented a number of laws and regulations that govern Airbnb rentals within the city limits. These laws cover everything from safety to taxes, and they are intended to help ensure that all parties involved in an Airbnb rental have a pleasant experience.
Here is a checklist of what you must have in place before launching your short term rental:
Business License Required: The first rule requires that all Airbnb hosts obtain a business license from the City of Leavenworth prior to listing their property.
Here is the link to the Washington State Department of Revenue, where you can complete your business license application.
The license must be renewed each year and must include proof of liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000. In addition, the license must outline the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, such as the length of stay, the number of guests, and any applicable fees.
Proper Zoning Needed: Leavenworth has strict requirements on where in the city you can operate an Airbnb, VRBO, or other type of short term vacation rental. You cannot operate an airbnb in RL6, RL10, RL 12, or multifamily zoning.
Here’s an excerpt from the City of Leavenworth with a more in-depth explanation:
“Overnight, weekend, vacation, or any other type of accommodation rentals which are for a period of less than one month are NOT allowed in any of the Residential Zone Districts of the City or its Urban Growth Area – including Multifamily Residential, RL-6, RL-10, and RL-12 zones.
In many cases and where allowed (located in the Commercial districts), homes which become rentals are required to perform physical alterations (such as fire sprinkler systems and parking improvements) to occur and require City licensing. The Washington State Department of Health also regulates overnight rentals. Please visit http://www.doh.wa.gov/ for State licensing requirements. If you have a question regarding use of a property as a rental of less than one month duration, please contact Development Services Staff at 509-548-5275.”
Here is a map of Leavenworth’s commercial and residential zones as of 2022:
Noise Ordinance Compliance: Airbnb hosts adhere to the city’s noise ordinance. This means that there should be no loud music or parties at the rental property after 10pm. Hosts are required to provide their guests with a copy of the noise ordinance upon check in.
Tax Recording: Finally, you are required as a host to collect and remit taxes to the City of Leavenworth. The taxes are calculated based on the length of the stay and the number of guests, and they must be collected prior to the guest’s arrival.
Stay Flourish manages this area. If you have a property here, our on-staff cleaners and maintenance techs, and local manager would love to look at your property and give you a FREE consultation.
1. City of Leavenworth. Business License. https://www.cityofleavenworth.com/business-license/
2. City of Leavenworth. Airbnb Registration. https://www.cityofleavenworth.com/airbnb-registration/
3. City of Leavenworth. Noise Ordinance. https://www.cityofleavenworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Leavenworth_Noise_Ordinance_2010-1.pdf
4. City of Leavenworth. Tax Collection. https://www.cityofleavenworth.com/tax-collection/
Disclaimer: We hope this blog post has provided you with helpful information about the Airbnb rental laws in Seattle, Washington. Please note, however, that this post is not intended as legal advice, and we are not responsible for any decisions made based on the information provided in this post.