Property Management Laws in Baltimore County: It’s about keeping the letter and spirit

According to data from the 2020 American Community Survey, independent Baltimore County, MD has over 337,000 housing units, with a housing density of roughly 563 houses per square mile. That’s a considerably dense location, considering the overall density of the United States is just shy of 40 houses per square mile, and that of Maryland state is only 252 houses per square mile. With such a high housing density, it makes property management in Baltimore County all that more important, though no less challenging!

Rule of Law

The County has a sizable renter population too – of around 34%. However, that’s in line with the population of renters across the USA (36%), and the overall state of Maryland (33%).

Given the density of rental housing units in the County, it’s important for everyone to understand the importance that rental rules and regulations play in managing the rental property market. The absence of such laws can:

  • Bring chaos to the housing market
  • Add confusion to the property rental industry
  • Trample on the rights of property owners, renters and the general public

While having such rules and statues is important, they’re of no consequence in and of themselves. To make them effective, renters and property management companies in Baltimore MD must understand and uphold both, the letter and the spirit of such laws.

Embracing the Laws

With some many things on the go, property management professionals and DIY property managers may sometimes have a tough time keeping up with the laws of the land. That’s understandable. However, ignorance or unawareness of those laws does not condone not following them. Here are 3 critical facets of those laws that everyone – renters, those practicing property management in Baltimore County, or housing unit owners intending to offer their homes for rent, should be aware of:

  • Is registration of rental property required, and why?

It’s the law! Bill 87-07, passed by Baltimore County Council on December 7th, 2007, makes it mandatory for buildings with six or more rental units, to be registered and licensed by the County Council.

  • Is registration “urgent”, or can I do it at my leisure?

You can certainly register at your leisure. However, the law stipulates that you can’t have tenants residing/renting those units until you register and receive your license. Anything less would be construed as a violation of Bill 87-07.

  • Are there consequences for violating the law?

The short answer: Most certainly!

If you rent an unregistered unit without a license, you may face fines of up to $25 per day for a violation; $200 per day for not complying with a correction notice; and $1,000 for noncompliance with the Rental Registration Law.

High Stakes

As you can appreciate, the stakes for DIY-property managers, property owners and property management companies in Baltimore MD are high. And though there may be every attempt to appreciate the spirit of these laws, which is to keep everyone safe and protect the interests of all stakeholders; it’s important to also embrace the letter of the law. Failing to do so can be costly!