Most rental property in Baltimore County must be registered for a rental license, per Baltimore County Code Section 35-5-201. This does not include such situations as:
- Dwelling units solely occupied by a person related by blood, marriage, or adoption to or under the legal custody of the owner of the dwelling unit, which may include one additional individual who is not a minor without regard to the relationship of the individual and without regard to the number of minors in the dwelling unit related by blood, marriage or adoption to the additional individual or under the legal custody of the owner. Individuals must be related as grandparents, parents, children, or grandchildren only.
- Dwelling units exempted as required by federal or state law or regulation; or
Dwellings listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the Baltimore County Landmarks List.
Rental properties that must have a rental licenses include dwellings with six or fewer units (including short-term rentals) and dwellings with seven or more units. You must register and be licensed before a tenant moves into the property.
For Dwellings with Six or Fewer Units
For Apartment Complexes and Dwellings with Seven or More Dwelling Units
Self-certification is an option for apartment complexes or dwellings with seven or more dwelling units unless the owner of the property has been found guilty of Baltimore County Code violations. If unable to self-certify, at least 10 percent of the units must pass inspection by a licensed home inspector before a license can be issued.
A short-term rental (STR) is unit/room in a single family home or condominium that is available for rent for typically less than 30 consecutive days through online sites such as Airbnb, Flipkey, Home Away and VRbO (Vacation Rental by Owner). Short-term rental operators need to register as a rental in the County and the fee for the license is $60 per unit.
If the rental is for a dwelling that has six or fewer units, there are a number of factors that may qualify your property for exemption from registration. Review the criteria listed on the Exemption Affidavit . Short-term rentals are not eligible for an exemption.
If the rental is for a dwelling that has seven or more units or is an apartment complex, there are two paths to approval. If the property had had fewer than three code violations in the past three years, the owner may apply with a Self-Certification Rental Registration Affidavit .
If not, 10 percent of the units must be inspected prior to registration.
Register Your Property
Follow these steps, follow the steps to register to register your property with Baltimore County.
The rental license is valid for three years and will expire on the third anniversary of its effective date. Before a license expires, the licensee may periodically renew it for an additional three-year term. Exemptions and self-certification must also be renewed.
Per Maryland Public Safety Code, a smoke detector must be present and operational on every level, excluding unoccupied attics, garages or crawl spaces.
Wireless remote is accepted for interconnection of smoke detectors as long as the smoke detectors are hardwired and approved by a recognized testing lab such as UL and listed for sale, installation and use in Maryland by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. To ensure interconnection works properly, units must be from the same manufacturer. Smoke alarm units 10 years or older must be replaced.
Note: All smoke detectors must be NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code and UL approved.
A hardwired smoke detector with a battery backup must be located in the corridor or hallway outside of sleeping areas and on every level of the dwelling unit.
If the home has a basement, a hardwired smoke detector with a battery backup must also be located in the basement and must be interconnected to the smoke detectors on all levels of the dwelling unit.
Buildings with Two or Three Dwelling Units
A hardwired smoke detector with a battery backup must be located in the corridor or hallway outside of sleeping areas and on every level of the dwelling unit including the basement. The basement smoke detector must be interconnected to the smoke detector on the first floor only.
Buildings with Four to Six Dwelling Units
A hardwired interconnected smoke detector with a battery backup must be located in the corridor or hallway outside the sleeping area and on every level of the dwelling unit.
A hardwired smoke detector is required in the basement for homes with four to six apartments, but does not have to be interconnected.
Buildings with Seven or More Dwelling Units or Apartment Complexes
- A hardwired interconnected smoke detector with a battery backup must be located in the corridor or hallway outside the sleeping area and on every level of the dwelling unit.
On March 8, 2016, the House of Delegates, State of Maryland, adopted House Bill 849 requiring all rental dwelling units, on or after April 1, 2018, to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed within the dwelling on every level of the unit, including the basement. In addition to being present on every level, they must be audible in sleeping areas.
Rental Property License Search
The Rental Registration Property Search displays all rental properties currently registered or exempt from registration in Baltimore County. Use the search to identify and monitor specific rental properties in your neighborhood or community. Select your desired license type to search the map by street name, ZIP code, councilmanic district or record ID.
View or download rental registration data, including the rental property address, name and address of the property owner, and the reason for exemption, if applicable.
Disclaimer: This information was provided by property owners and compiled by Baltimore County for public access. Baltimore County makes no representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of this information, but rather disclaims responsibility for errors herein and reserves the right to make changes at any time without notice.
If your rental unit is currently registered with Baltimore County, you may download and print a PDF copy of your rental license at any time. Please note that the Safari browser is not supported.
To download your license:
- Log in to the Rental License system by entering your user name and password.
- Under My Records, select the record number for the license you wish to print.
- Select the arrow next to Record Info and select Attachments.
- Select the name of the license from the list to download.