Short term rentals will soon be allowed in all residential areas of Montgomery County, Maryland. A home rented on a daily or weekly basis is often referred to as an AirBnb–which is the dominant online booking web site for short term rentals.
Under current law, no residential rentals are permitted in Montgomery County for less than 30 days. Faced with widespread illegal daily and weekly rentals, the County Council passed legislation in October, 2017 to allow these rentals where the property is the primary residence of the owner or owner-authorized resident of the rental property. However, condominiums, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives will still be allowed to ban or restrict short term rentals.
Unless the rental is limited by the governing documents of the condo, HOA or co-op, a home can be used for a short term rental for up to 120 days in a calendar year where the owner or authorized resident is not physically present and occupies the residence during the rental stay. There will be no limit on the number of days the home can be used for a short term rental where the owner or authorized resident is present and occupies the home. Up to six adults and no more than two adults per bedroom are permitted.
Before a short term rental is allowed, a license must be obtained from the County. On behalf of the Community Associations Institute, attorney Tom Schild wrote to the Council and testified at the Council hearing to request changes to the proposed legislation to include provisions to better protect condos, HOAs, and coops. As enacted, the new law requires an applicant for a short term rental license certify that the use is not prohibited by the association governing documents and that the association fees for the property are not more than 30 days past due. Additionally, the person applying for a short term rental license must notify the condo, HOA or coop and the association can challenge an application which does not meet the licensing requirements.
To address concerns of neighboring residents about “party house” rentals, only registered guests will be allowed on the property with no visitors except persons visiting the primary resident.
Many condominium bylaws ban rentals of less than six months and some coop documents prohibit any sublease without the consent of the coop. For associations which do not currently restrict such use, the governing documents can be amended to restrict or prohibit short term rentals. The new law takes effect July 1, 2018.
Posted by Thomas Schild Law Group, LLC, attorneys for condominiums, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives in Maryland -– including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Howard County, Frederick County, and Baltimore County; and in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C.