Rental Property Registration & Licensing

Baltimore City requires that any property with one or more rental units, including short-term rentals, be registered and licensed. For complete information, see the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development webpage here. The basic requirements are below:

Ensure that the property is zoned for its intended use. The minimum lot area for most multi-family row homes in Bolton Hill ranges from 550 square feet to 1,100 square feet per dwelling unit depending on a property’s zoning classification in the Baltimore City zoning code. Most row houses also require at least 750 square feet of gross floor area for a 1-bedroom unit; 1,000 square feet for a 2-bedroom unit; 1,250 square feet for a 3-bedroom unit. There must also be at least one parking spot on the property for each unit.

These requirements apply regardless of whether the property is owner-occupied or fully or partially rented. A single-family row house cannot be converted to a multi-unit property, unless supported by BHCA and approved by city council ordinance.

Register the property with the City. Property registration must be renewed each year it is occupied as a rental property.

Obtain a rental property license. Rental units at a property may only be rented with an up-to-date rental property license. Rental units must be inspected by a home inspector registered with the City. An initial rental property license lasts two years and is renewed every one to three years, depending on a property’s inspection record.

Obtain a lead inspection for each rental unit. Each rental unit in a building built before 1978 must undergo a lead inspection at the time of tenant turnover and be registered annually with the State of Maryland. Lead inspectors must be registered with the City. An up-to-date inspection certification number for each rental unit is required to be submitted to Baltimore City property registration each year.

To check the registration and licensing status of a rental property, search the City’s online database.

Are you a Bolton Hill rental property owner who’d like to connect with others in the neighborhood to share tips on property management, complying with City codes, and attracting stable renters? A BHCA group called Bolton Hill Property Owners Who Rent Apartments is just for you. Contact for more information.