Rental Dwelling Registration

Last updated Mar. 01, 2016 - 3:33 pm

Studies have shown that a majority of the complaints relating to violations of the City of Raleigh's Code provisions arise from tenant occupied properties.

A significant obstacle in providing effective and prompt enforcement of the current City Codes was the inability to access public records for making contact with the owner of such rental properties. To make this possible, the City of Raleigh adopted the Rental Dwelling Registration Ordinance.

This ordinance makes it unlawful to rent, receive rental income from or offer to rent a dwelling within the City's limits without first registering the property. This registration created a database of the location and the ownership of Raleigh's residential rental properties. The City can use this database as an effective resource to promote responsible management, provide a safe habitat for residents, safeguard property values, expedite housing repairs and provide a tool for prompt contact with owners or managers from Police, Fire, Emergency and the Inspections Departments when issues or emergencies develop.

Ordinance Requirements

The Rental Dwelling Registration Ordinance requires that a rental dwelling's owner or agent submit a current and accurate registration of their rental property on a yearly basis.

The change form is used to update owner or management information, remove a sold property or add a newly acquired property. Download Rental Registration Change Form.

Ownership changes require a new registration form to be completed. Incomplete or inaccurate information submitted on a registration will result in the application's denial.

General requirements of rental dwelling registrations are as follows:

  • Current and updated owner/management company information, including email addresses and fax numbers.
  • An alternate contact must be designated on the registration form to respond to calls from Police, Fire, Emergency or Housing & Neighborhoods personnel when attempts to contact the owner/agent have failed or the owner is unavailable to respond in a timely manner.
    The designated alternate contact person must be located in the City or within twenty-five (25) miles of the City's planning jurisdiction.
  • The owner is required to maintain a current list of the dwellings' occupants. Upon request by City Inspectors, Police, Fire or emergency personnel, the owner is required to present the list of occupants.

Registration and Payment

Rental dwelling renewal registration and payment is due every year.

The cost of registration is

  • fifteen ($15) dollars for properties/tax parcels with three (3) or fewer residential rental units
  • twenty-five ($25) dollars for properties/tax parcels with less than twenty (20) but more than three (3) residential rental units
  • fifty ($50) dollars for properties/tax parcels with twenty(20) or more residential rental units.

Owners of rental properties are responsible for the yearly payment of the registration renewal fees, whether it be directly or via a property management agency. Online payments for initial and renewal registration are not available at this time.

First time rental registration forms can be obtained in three (3) ways:

  1. Download the rental registration form
  2. Contact the Rental Registration staff at 919-996-2444 between 8:00am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday and request a paper copy be mailed to you.
  3. Forms are also available at the Housing & Neighborhoods Department Code Enforcement Division located on the fifth (5th) floor at One Exchange Plaza on Fayetteville Street.

Mail completed registrations and fee payment to:
City of Raleigh, Revenue Services - 04 PO Box 590, Raleigh, NC 27602


The renewal of rental property registration occurs every year between March 1st - April 30th.

A renewal form will be sent to the last known address of the property owner prior to the start of registration period to ensure timely completion of the renewal form and payment of registration fees. For that reason, it is crucial that any changes of ownership or mailing address be reported to ensure receipt of a correct renewal notice.

The renewal notice will contain property site-specific information from the prior year's registration, allowing for easier completion of the registration. Registered property information, as well as payment status, can be reviewed by utilizing the Public Access Tool.

Any person who rents or offers to rent a rental residential dwelling without first applying and registering the property as required will be subject to a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50) for the first day and fifty dollars ($50) for each continuing day of non-compliance. The Public Utilities Department will not provide water service to a vacant rental residential dwelling which has not been registered.


Exemptions to the Rental Dwelling Registration Ordinance apply to the following property types:

  • Bed and breakfast inns
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Guest homes
  • Rest homes
  • Rooming businesses
  • Boarding houses
  • Tourist homes

Properties located in the City's Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) are not subject to the Rental Dwelling Registration Ordinance; only properties located within the Corporate Limits of the City are subject to registration. Any new owner of a rental property must register their property within thirty (30) days of the title's transfer and recording in the Wake County Registry.


A copy of the Rental Dwelling Registration Ordinance may be obtained by contacting the City Clerk's office at 919-996-3040 or by viewing the City Code.

For additional information about the Ordinance, contact the Code Enforcement Division at 919-996-2444 or email

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