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 number of rental units must fit within the minimum lot area and floor area requirements of the Baltimore City zoning code:
- At least 750 square feet of lot area for each unit;
- 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; and
- 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 and units cannot be added to an existing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.