Temporary Housing & Vacation Rentals

Renting all or a portion of a dwelling for commercial purposes is considered doing business on the island requiring the owner(s) to obtain a City Business License.  Doing business includes renting a dwelling or portion of a dwelling as temporary or short-term housing or as a vacation rental through such lodging websites as AirBNB.com.

At this time, the City does not place additional requirements on temporary/short-term housing or vacation rentals with the exception of defining a suitable dwelling for temporary/short-term or vacation occupation. According to Chapter 18.36 of the Municipal Code:
  • A "bed and breakfast" means a single-family residence that is owner-occupied and in which (a) three or more guest rooms are provided within the residence or within accessory buildings, for compensation, as overnight accommodations for transient visitors who remain no longer than two weeks in any one visit, and (b) breakfast is customarily included in the charge for the room.  A bed and breakfast lodging is not a hotel, motel, inn, home occupation or other use defined or regulated elsewhere in this title, except that bed and breakfast establishments containing one or two sleeping rooms may be considered a minor home occupation as defined and regulated elsewhere in the Municipal Code.
  • Note: Bed and breakfasts are prohibited in some areas of Bainbridge Island. Before you apply for a business license, contact Planning & Community Development to determine if your property is zoned appropriately for a bed and breakfast.

  • "Dwelling" or "dwelling unit" means a building or portion of a building that provides independent living facilities with provisions for sleeping, eating and sanitation; provided a recreational vehicle or bus is not a dwelling or dwelling unit.
  • Note: RVs and travel trailers are not dwellings and cannot be used as temporary/short-term housing or vacation rentals.
In addition to the above, be aware Kitsap County is currently debating, with movement towards enacting, regulations pertaining to temporary/short-term housing and vacation rentals.  Any owner of temporary/short-term or vacation housing on Bainbridge Island, or any owner considering renting out a dwelling as temporary/short-term housing or vacation rental on Bainbridge Island, is to fulfill and meet any and all requirements set by Kitsap County as well as the State of Washington in relation to temporary/short-term housing and/or vacation rentals.