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Short-Term Rental Law Takes Effect July 1; Information Available on County Website

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 18, 2018

A new law set to take effect on July 1 will regulate short-term residential rentals currently available through online platforms such as Airbnb, Craigslist, FlipKey and HomeAway, and require property owners to register and license their rentals.  More information about the new law and the licensing requirements is available on a new website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/short-term-rental.  Montgomery County joins jurisdictions such as Philadelphia and Hawaii in requiring such rentals to be licensed.  Several counties across the United States also require licensing.

 

On October 1, 2017, the County Council adopted zoning text amendment (ZTA) 16-03 and Bill 2-16 to define short-term residential rentals and establish licensing regulations.  The County’s Department of Health and Human Services’ Licensure and Regulatory Services will be responsible for licensing and enforcement.

 

This law will allow our residents to participate in the growing ‘Airbnb’ economy while ensuring that we have limits to protect our neighborhoods and sense of community,” said County Council President Hans Riemer, lead sponsor of the legislation.

 

A short-term residential rental is a unit/room in a single-family home, apartment or condominium that is available for a fee for less than 30 consecutive days through online sites such as Airbnb, Craigslist, FlipKey and HomeAway.  

 

Property owners who rent their property, or part of their property, for short-term lodging must also pay the County’s Room Rental and Transient Tax, through the Department of Finance, Division of Treasury, a requirement that went into effect July 1, 2017.

 

The County partnered with Bear Cloud Software, developers of STR Helper, a software application to manage compliance, registration, licensing and complaints regarding short-term rentals.  STR Helper is used in more than 70 cities and counties in the United States.

 

Current owners are being notified in writing about the new law and the need to register the property.  The registration portal will periodically scan online sites for new properties and owners will be notified.  Property owners who do not receive a letter are still required to apply for a license. 

 

The annual license fee is $150 plus applicable processing fees.  Failure to comply with licensing requirements may result in additional fees, penalties and possible restrictions on future rentals.

 
For more information about the Room Rental-Transient Tax, visit
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/finance/taxes/excise.html and click on the links under “Room Rental – Transient” for more information, or call 311 (240-777-0311 if you are calling from outside of Montgomery County).

 

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Release ID: 18-600
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534