Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

What is the Inspection Process – Type A – Multi- Dwelling Structure (3 units or more)

Is a BDS inspection required to verify compliance with the bedroom requirements for Accessory Short-Term Rentals in Multi Dwelling Structures?

Unlike the accessory short term rental inspection requirements in 1&2 Dwelling Structures, BDS will not inspect bedrooms in multi-dwelling structures and triplexes. Multi-Dwelling structures and triplexes are already inspected under the Portland Fire & Rescue Safety Inspection program, which examines the safety features of common areas (e.g. condition and operation of exit doors, emergency lighting, exit signs, components of fire resistive construction, fire extinguishers, and records for fire alarm and fire protection systems). However, guest bedrooms must be equipped with interconnected smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide alarm. 

What are the Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector requirements under the ASTR program in Multi-Dwelling Structures?

Section 33.207.040.B.4 requires that each bedroom to be rented to overnight guests has 1) a smoke detector that is interconnected with a smoke detector in an adjacent hallway, common area, or immediate vicinity of sleeping rooms and 2) is located on a floor of a dwelling unit equipped with a functioning carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be located in each bedroom or within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door. Interconnected smoke detectors may be hardwired or may function wirelessly. The property owner or their authorized agent must verify through self certification on the application form that the bedrooms meet these requirements.  If you do not currently have hardwired interconnected smoke detectors in your dwelling unit (a requirement for newly constructed units) you may wish to work with the property owner to install battery operated wireless interconnectable smoke detectors. These devices are readily available at home improvement stores and the devices should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Battery operated or plug in carbon monoxide alarms are also readily available at home improvement stores and the devices should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Are Accessory Short term rentals allowed in multi-dwelling structures subject to Chapter 13 of the Uniform Building Code?

Accessory short-term rentals are prohibited in a building subject to Chapter 13 of the Uniform Building Code (1970 edition) in effect on September 7, 1972, except when the Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that the building has a fire sprinkler system that protects the exit ways.

In 1972, to ensure adequate fire and life safety protection for inhabitants of older multi-story hotel and apartment structures, the City of Portland adopted Chapter 13 of the Uniform Building Code which applies to existing buildings.  Many older structures built under previous codes were constructed in configurations that do not meet current safety requirements or provide adequate safeguard, such as lack of enclosed stairways, enclosed vertical shafts, or availability of proper exists.  The purpose of Chapter 13 is to provide a reasonable degree of safety to persons living and sleeping in apartments and hotels through conformity with the minimum safety provisions of Chapter 13.  By 1975 all buildings subject to the Chapter 13 building regulations had been inspected and brought into compliance via a permit with the Chapter 13 minimum standards. 

You can view a list of building addresses subject to Chapter 13 regulations

If you are proposing a Type A Accessory Short-Term Rental in a building subject to Chapter 13 regulations you must contact the City of Portland Fire Marshal’s Office to have them verify that the building has a fire sprinkler system that protects the exit ways. If, upon review of Fire Marshal records or inspection, the Fire Marshal’s Office determines that the fire sprinkler system protects the exit ways you will be issued verification in writing from the Fire Marshal’s Office. Type A Accessory Short-Term Rental Permit applications cannot be approved until the Fire Marshal’s Office has verified in writing that the fire sprinkler system protects the exit ways and their written approval is submitted with this application. 

To have the Fire Marshal’s Office verify that a Chapter 13 building has a sprinkler system that protects the exit ways, you may email Sr. Fire Inspector Jim Hanson at Jim.Hanson@portlandoregon.gov. In your email please reference “ASTR Chapter 13 fire sprinkler verification” in the email subject line, include the property address, and your name, email address, and phone number. There is no additional fee charged for this verification at this time.  Please allow up to 10 business days from the email submission date to receive written verification from the Fire Marshal’s Office.