Seattle Hosts Email from Airbnb

I am a host in Seattle and recently got an email:

"Register in Seattle to host short-term stays

We’ve blocked your listing from hosting short-term stays because it’s not registered in Seattle. We’ve also had to cancel short-term stay bookings that will take place from February 15, 2020 onwards. Registration is required to comply with local short-term rental laws. Until you register, you can only receive bookings for 30 or more nights at a time. Want to switch back to short-term stays? First, you’ll need to register with the city.

Register now (link to 404 page)

Once you’ve registered, add your short-term operator’s license number to your listing. Then, set your minimum nights to below 30 nights in your availability to continue hosting short-term."

If course I went into panic mode. To add to the madess, the link provided goes to a 404 error page.

Called customer and got no real answer. They emailed later telling me to follow the bad link, which I told them was bad on the call. I checked with the city and of course all is fine. I did note that there is no process for renewing your license yet.

So after a couple calls and emails, I got this response:

" I understand your concerns with the notice we sent out regarding registration. It does appear that your listing is in order and set to accept short term reservations.

As our notices are automated there are times that a notification may not apply to your listing. At this time it does appear that your registration number is correct and has been accepted in the system. If you have any concerns with the permit number validity, please contact the local authority directly.

Hosts will be receiving an email soon regarding the miscommunication about their Seattle registration.

If you have any other account-related questions or concerns, please let me know by replying to this email. Thank you for your time and understanding."

I am flabbergasted! They sent a wall email that said I am basically out of business and my future bookings are cancelled, but not to worry, it MAY not pertain to you. I’ve never seen such Catch-22 bureaucratic nonsense! What host would ignore such a message, writing it off as “not for me”? It borders on cruelty!

Anybody else get that message?

Hi DaleW,
On Jan 28 2020, I got a 2 sentence text: “You’re now only able to host long term stays in Seattle. Register now to become eligible for short term stays at…” and it goes to a 404 error page.

This summer I paid back taxes of over $400 and got a Seattle Business Tax Certificate. Navigating the City of Seattle’s business requirements on their website is an exercise in frustration.

My AirBnB listing appears to be in order, which is the good news. But I’m not sure whether I need to get a short term license!

My regulations page says “Your registration is complete.
You’re all set! Your registration number is [number] and is visible to guests on your listing.”

Yes, you need a short term rental license as well as a business license/tax certificate. Get busy! State taxes were due January 31.

Airbnb collects the taxes due and sends them directly to the state of Washington.

Thanks. Did you figure out how to get a short term license online? I went downtown to work out the business license part of it, but have not been able to create a FileLocal account online.

I would suggest joining the Seattle hosts Facebook group, as there are a few hundred of us in there. This process has been a lot of bureaucratic nonsense but we’ve been able to help each other get our listings sorted. There was an AirBnB employee in assigned to Seattle to help us get in compliance with the new regulations, but he was very suddenly relocated shortly before December 15 (the day regulations went into effect).