The Baltimore County Council is considering legislation aimed at closing a loophole through which some landlords may be renting properties to more people than the law is meant to allow.
It’s currently illegal in the county for landlords to rent to three or more adults who are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption unless a permit is issued by the county’s Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections.
However, residents in some neighborhoods are concerned that some landlords may be skirting the occupancy limit by letting some tenants live in a house or apartment without cost. They worry about over-renting in areas such as Towson, where the availability of college on-campus housing has struggled to keep up with the growing body of students.
Republican County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, drafted a bill to amend the definition of a “boarding-rooming house,” which is the term the county uses to describe homes permitted to rent to three or more unrelated people. The amendment would make clear that landlords are “technically renting” to unrelated people who spend over 30 days in a property regardless of whether they’re paying rent, Marks said.
It remains to be seen if the bill will face opposition. Aaron Greenfield of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, which represents owners and managers of rental housing, said they have been reviewing the proposal, and they’re hoping to have determined their stance on the bill soon.
Marks said so far this “peculiar” concern about landlords over-renting a home has been reported only at a townhouse in the Loch Raven Village neighborhood. Residents have complained that a landlord is renting to four college students without a permit to do so.