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We are licensed by the State of Maryland to provide Baltimore County Rental Inspection services for landlords. If you own a property with 1-6 units that you intend to rent in Baltimore County, each rental unit must be registered (or approved for exemption) by Baltimore County before tenants move in to avoid being fined. Baltimore County Rental Inspections are valid for three (3) years.
1. Review the Baltimore County Rental Registration Exemption Affidavit (PDF) to make sure you need our services. Baltimore County has some exceptions for historic buildings, apartment complexes, and other properties. Most exemptions were eliminated in 2018 for rural dwellings on septic systems and for units solely occupied by persons other than the owner’s immediate family.
2. Make sure your rental property complies with all the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations. To locate your Zoning Designation, visit the My Neighborhood interactive map for Baltimore County. If the property was ever vacant, had major renovations done, or was divided into separate units make sure it has a valid Use & Occupancy (U&O) Permit that allows for it to be occupied and allows the correct number of units.
3. Use our Book Now page when you are ready to schedule your Baltimore County Rental Inspection. Please review the list of items below taken from the Inspection Sheet (PDF). Once the inspection is complete, you must submit the paperwork to Baltimore County within 90 days.
- SMOKE DETECTORS: Functional smoke detectors must be located in the hallway outside of sleeping areas and on every level of the dwelling unit including the basement. All smoke detectors must be hardwired with battery back-up AND interconnected so they alarm together AND made by the same manufacturer AND less than 10 years old. Different configurations are required depending on the number of units within the building and how recently the home was constructed or renovated. Wireless interconnection is allowed (cannot be battery-only models).
- ELECTRICAL WIRES: Electrical wires may not be visible in living areas. This includes open junction boxes, missing cover plates, missing circuit breakers, improper wiring, etc.
- PLUMBING: There must be hot and cold running water in kitchens and bathrooms. There can be no leaks below sinks and the toilets must flush.
- BASEMENT SLEEPING AREAS: Bedrooms in basements must have a secondary means of escape that is either a basement window with a minimum 5.7 square foot opening (sill height of 44 inches or less from the floor) OR basement door with a single thumb turn dead bolt that goes directly to the exterior.
- FURNACE: The furnace must be either operational (or because of outside temperatures it is unable to be tested).
- STAIR RAILINGS: A railing must be present for interior and exterior steps with more than 3 risers.
- CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: Carbon monoxide detectors are present on every level of the home and audible in sleeping areas. Combination smoke/CO detectors are acceptable as long as other requirements above are met.
- OTHER CONCERNS: Inspectors can note any other readily observable problems that they feel may represent an immediate threat to the health or safety of an occupant.
4. Read the regulations in the pamphlets for the Fair Housing Law and the Maryland Accessibility Act. You will be required to attest that you have reviewed and understand them before completing your application.
5. For an online application for a Baltimore County rental registration, you will need the following in addition to a credit card to pay applicable fees:
- Baltimore County Rental Inspection Sheet (PDF) which is provided by us along with the required photos of the front/rear of the property
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm Verification (PDF) which is completed by you and the tenant
- Lead Inspection Certificate for Homes Built Before 1978
$130 covers the trip charge, Baltimore County rental inspection, and paperwork for the first unit. Discounts for local properties, repeat customers, multiple units, or when combined with a lead paint inspection. Payment is due prior to the inspection. A re-inspection fee applies for any failed items.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baltimore County Rental Inspections
Can anyone perform a Baltimore County rental inspection?
No, only a state-licensed home inspector is authorized to perform a Baltimore County rental inspection.
How long does a Baltimore County rental inspection take?
The rental inspection of a typical single-unit property takes about 20 minutes.
Can you perform a rental inspection without the landlord present?
Yes, we often perform inspections by either utilizing lockbox access or by meeting tenants onsite. Our report will provide an explanation of all failure items and repairs needed.
Do you perform lead paint inspections?
Yes we can, often at the same time as a Baltimore County rental inspections at a discounted rate. See our Lead Paint Inspection page for more information.
The information on this page was compiled from a variety of documents provided by Baltimore County. Their website includes some additional information about the program and may contain information that has been updated.