Renting Out Your Home in Howard County

Residents who plan on renting their single family home, townhouse, or condominium should be aware that there are federal, state and county laws governing the landlord – tenant relationship.  Owning and managing residential rental property is considered a business. If you rent out your home in Howard County you are considered a landlord. As a Maryland Landlord, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The rental units need to be reported to the Howard County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits; and
  • The property should be in basically good condition as regards to plumbing, electrical system, furnace, roof, etc.

In Howard County, a rental license with subsequent housing inspection has been in force since 1965. Every dwelling or dwelling unit in Howard County not occupied solely by the owner or the owner’s immediate family must be licensed. Examples include dwellings occupied by boarders, roomers, and renters. Rental Housing Licenses are required under Title 14, Subtitle 9 of the Howard County Code to preserve the quality of rental housing in our community. A property owner who rents their property out  without a rental license in Howard County may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor or subjected to civil penalties by the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits.

As stated in Architectural Guideline No. 36, the River Hill Community Association views renting of a property an in-home business under the following conditions:

  • The boarding or rental of more than one portion of a single family (detached or attached) or multi-family residence to unrelated persons; or
  • Where an owner has an interest in more than one single family (detached or attached) or multifamily residence in the Village of River Hill, the boarding or rental of more than one such residence; or
  • The boarding or rental of an entire single family (detached or attached) residence to more than one boarder or renter with the owner not in residence.

When these situations are planned, Architectural Committee approval is required and an In-Home Business Application must be filed.  Residents should also refer to Architectural Guideline No. 33 – Professions and Home Business.  The Architectural Guidelines and In-Home Business Application are available online at in the Covenant “Quick Links” or at Claret Hall.

Vehicle parking is a prime concern for rental properties, especially in multi-family, high-density areas. Howard County requires approximately two spaces per unit and residents with vehicles exceeding allotted spaces should use overflow areas.

For more information, contact the Association’s Covenant Advisor at 410-531-1749 or

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