On August 1, 2018, a new law takes effect requiring all Baltimore City rental properties, including one- and two-family and multi-family dwellings, to be licensed to operate as a rental by January 1, 2019. In order to receive a license from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) the property must meet two requirements: 1) must be registered with DHCD using the online portal and 2) must be inspected by a State Licensed, Baltimore City registered Home Inspector.
The new system does not eliminate the annual registration fee (which remains unchanged at $30 per dwelling unit for one-family and two-family houses, and $35 per dwelling unit for buildings with more than 2 units). The new system differentiates “registration”, which is done annually, and “licensing”. The “License” will last 3 years for “good” landlords; defined as one who gets violation notices corrected within 60 days of their issuance. The License will last 2 years if the landlord gets violation notices corrected within 90 days of their issuance. Landlords are “bad” if they take more than 90 days to correct housing, building, and fire code violations and, therefore, must get their units inspected every year. “Bad” landlords on one-year licenses must pay an additional $15 per unit registration fee. The system is designed to reward “good” landlords who keep their properties in good repair and respond promptly to violation notices.