Baltimore County Introduces New Legislation To Strengthen Rental Registration And Inspection Process


Credit: Caren Lissner/Patch

BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Monday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced new legislation to strengthen the rental housing registration and inspection processes.

Currently, only rental housing properties with six or fewer units, including short-term rentals advertised on websites like Airbnb and VRBO, must be registered and licensed with Baltimore County. Under the new legislation, Baltimore County will create a new self-certified registration process for all rental properties with seven or more units. Units are eligible for self-certified registration if they have fewer than three public health, safety, or welfare violations over the past three years.

“Every person deserves access to safe, quality place to call home, and this legislation is another important step to ensure that is a reality across Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “By modernizing our rental registration process, we are strengthening Baltimore County’s ability to make sure that all property owners are fulfilling their obligations to their tenants and our communities.”

Rental properties with three or more public safety violations over the last three years will be required to inspect 10% of their rental properties. Additional inspections may be necessary if the violations are found in a majority of the inspected units.

Housing availability, affordability, and quality have been significant areas of focus for the county in recent months. Earlier this month, the County Council passed a package of foundational housing reforms to:

  • Establish a dedicated and permanent Baltimore County Housing Opportunities Fund to allow for reoccurring investment to support the ongoing development, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable and attainable housing;
  • Create Baltimore’s County first-ever process to designate properties as “vacant,” serving as the foundation for future efforts to convert blighted and abandoned properties into housing, including homeownership opportunities;
  • Update the county’s regulations to expand family-member use of accessory apartments (accessory dwelling units or “ADUs”) to increase opportunities to keep families together and allow older adults more opportunities to age in place; and
  • Modernize new townhome construction to create additional housing opportunities aimed at residents who may be priced out of the current housing market.

The legislation will be introduced at the Baltimore County Council session on Monday.

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