All rental properties (including apartments and single-family dwellings) must be licensed every two years. Prior to issuing the final rental license, staff conducts a complete interior and exterior inspection to ensure the dwelling is safe and in compliance with all applicable housing codes. While most problems are detected during the routine inspection process, staff will conduct complaint inspections as necessary. The following are examples of items checked by the inspector during the inspection process:
- General property maintenance throughout the unit.
- Each mechanical unit must be safe and in proper working order.
- The plumbing system and every fixture must be free from leaks.
- Foundations, walls, ceiling, roof, and floor must be kept in good repair.
- All appliances must be in good working condition.
- Electrical system and all outlets must be safe and functioning.
- Smoke detectors must be installed and functioning per code.
- Interior and exterior must be free of chipped or peeling paint.
- Unit must be free of insect and rodent infestation.
- Exterior areas must be clean and sanitary
Renters’ Tax Credit
The Renters’ Tax Credit Program provides property tax credits for renters who meet certain requirements. The plan was modeled after and designed to be similar in principle to the Homeowners’ Tax Credit Program, which is known to many as the Circuit Breaker Program. The concept rests on the reasoning that renters indirectly pay property taxes as part of their rent and thus should have some protection, as do homeowners.
The plan is based upon the relationship between rent and income. If the portion of rent attributable to the assumed property taxes exceeds a fixed amount in relation to income, the renter can, under specified conditions, receive a credit of as much as $750. The credit is paid as a direct check from the State of Maryland.