Rental Property Registration & Licensing
Baltimore City now requires ALL residential rental units to be registered, inspected, and licensed to ensure that they meet basic safety and maintenance requirements. Previously one- and two- family dwellings were not required to be inspected and licensed to operate as a rental. On August 1, 2018, a new law took 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. If your property is not a rental but is non-owner-occupied it still must be registered annually.
In order to receive a rental license from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) the property must meet two requirements: 1) be registered with DHCD using the online portal and 2) be inspected by a State Licensed,Baltimore City registered Home Inspector.
Setting up an online account can be done easily from your home or office. However, if assistance is needed, kiosks are available in the registration office located at 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 100, and staff is available to assist between the hours of 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, except on official holidays.
See the Registration and Licensing Information sheet for a complete description of the process and requirements.
How to Register Your Property
The Baltimore City Code, Article 13, Subtitle 4-2, requires every owner of a non-owner occupied dwelling unit, "whether occupied or vacant, whether it is producing revenue or not producing revenue, whether habitable or not habitable," to file a registration statement with the Housing Commissioner. This must be done within 10 days of any transfer of the property and every January 1st thereafter.
Registration fees vary based on the type and size of the property. See the Registration and Licensing Information sheet for details.
To complete your registration and licensing requirements:
How to Have Your Property Inspected
Once you have registered your property, you must have it inspected by a State Licensed, Baltimore City registered Home Inspector. Home Inspectors set their own market rate fees for these inspections; Baltimore City does not regulate the cost of these inspections. You may select any State Licensed Home Inspector that has registered with Baltimore City DHCD. Inspections can be completed any time after August 1, 2018 but must be submitted with your registration prior to December 31, 2018.
The inspector will be looking for basic life, health and safety items to insure the property is up to code and safe for the occupants and neighboring residents, including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, interior and exterior sanitary conditions, utilities, and lead paint. We recommend that you review the inspection form to understand the requirements and make any necessary repairs prior to the inspection.
All initial licenses are issued for a two-year period. When it is time for renewal you may be able to obtain a three-year license or be limited to a two- or one-year license based on your maintenance record and violation history.
List of Registered Home Inspectors
How to License Your Property
After you have registered your property and it has passed inspection by a State Licensed, Baltimore City registered Home Inspector, you must complete the licensing process online.
To complete your licensing requirements:
State Licensed Home Inspectors
To become a Baltimore City Registered Home Inspector or to access your account, click here.
How to Know if a Property is Currently Licensed and Registered as a Rental Property
Search here to determine if a property in Baltimore City is currently licensed and registered as a rental property. You can search by address, block/lot, or zip code.
New Licensing Requirement Brochure - Brochure outlining new licensing and registration requirements.
Registration and Licensing Information sheet - Detailed description of the process and requirements for registering, inspecting and licensing your property.
Baltimore City Rental License Inspection Form - Home Inspectors will use this form when inspecting rental units. This form must be submitted as part of the licensing process.
Addendum to Rental Licensing Checklist for Multifamily Properties - Home Inspectors will use this form in addition to the License Inspection Form to inspect common areas in multi-family dwellings, rooming houses, and hotels.
Sanitation Guide (English and Spanish)- A sample form to be provided to tenants regarding trash removal and recycling.
Frequently Asked Questions - Frequently asked questions and answers about new licensing and registration requirements.
Regulations Regarding Licensing
The Baltimore City Code, Article 13, Subtitle 11-1, requires the owner of a vacant lot assessed for $100 or more to file a registration statement with the Housing Commissioner. At the time of acquisition, a new owner of a vacant lot must file a registration statement and pay any registration fees due. This must be done within 10 days of any transfer of the property and every year thereafter. The annual registration fee is $25 for each vacant lot, with a maximum fee of $5,000 for all lots titled to the same owner of record.
Register By Email
Contact the Property Registration and Multifamily Licensing Office by email.
Register In Person
Property Registration and Licensing Division
417 E. Fayette Street, Room 100
Open Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Burglar Alarm Registration
The Baltimore City Code, Police Ordinances Article 19, Subtitle 8, requires an alarm system contractor, monitor, and user to register each alarm system with the Police Commissioner annually.
Contractors and Monitors
A contractor is any person engaged in the business of installing, maintaining, altering, inspecting, administering, selling, or servicing alarm systems.
A monitor is any person engaged in the business of monitoring alarm systems for the purpose of reporting an alarm system’s activation to the Police Department.
Contractors and monitors must register and pay the appropriate fee ($50 per year) for each alarm system.
A user is: (i) The owner or lessee of any alarm system; (ii) The owner or lessee of any dwelling unit, place of business, or other premises that has been equipped with an alarm system; or (iii) Any other person that uses an alarm system.
There is no fee for users to register an alarm.