Community associations need to be registered with the State of Maryland and file annual reports called “Annual Reports” or “Personal Property Tax Returns” in order to be in “Good Standing” (even if no property is owned by the association, these must be filed). Usually there is no fee for filing the report.

A State of Maryland certificate of good standing is officially known as a Certificate of Status. This document shows that your association has authorization to conduct business in Maryland and that taxes, reports, and fees are all up to date (usually community associations are exempt from fees and taxes). Simply put, it proves your entity is legitimate.

Why is it important? If your neighborhood association wishes to interact officially with a business or government agency, the association must be “in good standing” and you may be asked to produce the certificate of status for this to take place. If not kept up to date your association may be denied authority, and the association name could be forfeited.

If you are unsure if your association is in good standing you can check here: from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website by typing in the official name of your association. You can order a certificate of status from the SDAT site for a $40 fee.

The PATH Act, which was enacted at the end of 2015, requires a 501(c)(4) organization to notify the IRS within 60 days of organizing of its intent to operate under that section of the IRC. The notification must be submitted on Form 8976, which can only be filed electronically. The IRS portal for submitting the form can be accessed at this link.

New filers should note that the electronic filing portal cannot be accessed using the URL cited in Revenue Procedure 2016-41 – use the link above. Law firms, accountants and other third-party filers will be happy to learn that one individual can file notifications for many organizations at the filing portal. There is a $50.00 fee for filing the notification, and a late fee of $20 per day (up to $5,000 maximum).

Baltimore County Zoning Regulations require that individuals representing a community association at hearings must be officially authorized by the association’s board of directors. This requirement is commonly referred to as “Rule 8” of the zoning regulations. To download a copy of the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations, Rule 8, and sample resolutions, click here.

Baltimore County code requires property owners who rent to more than two unrelated individuals to secure a roominghouse/boardinghouse permit. If you suspect that a home is rented to more than two unrelated individuals, contact Baltimore County Code Enforcement at (410) 887-8099 or

Where is the “two-unrelated-adult” rule mentioned in the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations? In § 101.1 Boarding- or Rooming House is defined as three or more unrelated adult tenants. § 408B.1 outlines the procedure for obtaining a Boarding- or Rooming House permit, without which three or more unrelated adult tenants are not permitted. Note that no rooming- or boarding house permits have ever been issued. Towson community associations have routinely opposed granting of these permits in order to maintain the residential character of the area.

§ 101.1 Word usage; definitions


[Bill Nos. 44-1982; 124-1993; 86-2001; 102-2001; 137-2004; 17-2009]

A. A building:

1. Which is the domicile of the owner and in which rooms with or without meals are provided, for compensation, to three or more individuals who are 18 years old or older and not related by blood, marriage or adoption to the owner; or

2. Which is not the owner’s domicile and which is occupied in its entirety, for compensation, by three or more individuals who are 18 years old or older and not related to each other by blood, marriage or adoption.

B. The term does not include a hotel, motel, apartment building or a facility for foster care (as defined in the Family Law Article, Section 5-501(g) of the Annotated Code of Maryland and COMAR 07.06.16). The term does include a care home (as defined in the Health General Article, Section 19-307(b) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.)

C. For purposes of this definition only, “owner” means an individual who:

1. Has more than a 50% legal or equitable interest in the property; and

2. Shares in more than 50% of the profits or losses derived from the compensation paid under Paragraph A of this definition.

D. If an individual who is 18 years old or older and who is not related to the owner by blood, marriage or adoption resides for more than 30 days during any twelve-month period in a building in which compensation is received from any person, the building shall be considered the domicile of the individual for purposes of this definition.

E. The owner of a building shall have the burden of proving that an individual is related by blood, marriage, or adoption either to the owner or to the other individuals in the domicile as required under Paragraph A.1 or A.2 of this definition.

§ 408B: Boarding- or Rooming Houses in D.R. Zones

§ 408B.1 Permit procedure; regulations

Notwithstanding any provision in these regulations to the contrary, boarding- or rooming houses are permitted in D.R. Zones, subject to the provisions of this section.

A. Upon application to the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections, the Director may issue a use permit for a boarding- or rooming house under the following procedure:

[Bill No. 122-2010]

1. Upon application, the applicant shall provide the following information:

a. The maximum number of tenants expected to live on the property.

b. A site plan indicating the location and type of structure and the proximity of dwellings on adjacent lots.

c. The location of the required off-street parking spaces.

d. A floor plan indicating the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

e. Such other information as the Director may require.

2. Notice and hearing.

a. On the property in question, notice of the application for the use permit shall be conspicuously posted for a period of 15 days following the filing of the application.

b. Within the fifteen-day posting period, any interested person may file a formal request for a public hearing before the Zoning Commissioner in accordance with Section 500.7.

c. If a formal request for a public hearing is not filed, the Director, without a public hearing, may grant a use permit for a boarding- or rooming house in a D.R. Zone if the proposed use meets the requirements of this section and Section 502.1. The use permit may be issued with such conditions or restrictions as determined appropriate by the Director to satisfy the provisions of this section and Section 502.1 and to ensure that the boarding- or rooming house will not be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the surrounding community.

d. If a formal request for a public hearing is filed, the Director shall schedule a date for the public hearing before the Zoning Commissioner, such hearing to be held not less than 21 days and not more than 90 days from the date of filing of the request for public hearing.

e. Following the public hearing, the Zoning Commissioner may either deny or grant a use permit conditioned upon:

(1) Findings following the public hearing.

(2) The character of the surrounding community and the anticipated impact of the proposed use on that community.

(3) The manner in which the requirements of this section and Section 502.1 and other applicable requirements are met and any additional requirements as deemed necessary by the Zoning Commissioner in order to ensure that the use will not be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the surrounding community and as are deemed necessary to satisfy the objectives of this section and Section 502.1 of these regulations.

f. If a formal request for a public hearing is not filed and notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the Director may, at his or her discretion, require a public hearing whereat the applicant shall be required to satisfy the burden of proof required for such use to be granted.

g. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1B01.1B, the Director, or the Zoning Commissioner if a hearing is requested, or the County Board of Appeals, upon appeal, may modify Section 1B01.1.B.1.b as it pertains to such use in D.R. Zones.

B. Boarding or rooming houses are permitted only in single-family detached dwellings.

C. The applicant shall be required to keep and preserve accurate occupancy records, including the name, social security number and dates of occupancy of each tenant and shall make such records available to the Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections and other appropriate governmental agencies. [Bill No. 122-2010]

D. Off-street parking spaces shall be located in the side or rear only, unless otherwise approved by the Zoning Commissioner, and shall be landscaped in accordance with the Class A requirements of the Landscape Manual.

E. After the effective date of Bill No. 124-93, a new boarding- or rooming house is not permitted next to an existing boarding- or rooming house unless permitted after a public hearing pursuant to Section 408.B.

F. Upon approval of the initial use permit, the applicant, operator, owner or lessee of the property or premises at issue shall be required to renew the use permit annually, to be dated from the month of the initial approval. Such renewal shall not be subject to Section 408B.A.2 above.

G. The Director may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew the use permit for the following reasons:

1. The applicant has made any false or misleading statement in any application or other document required to be filed under this section.

2. The applicant has failed to comply with the Livability Code; the applicable zoning regulations; or the noise, litter, fire, health or sanitation ordinances of Baltimore County.

3. The applicant has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the initial approval.

H. The applicant, as a condition precedent to the approval of the initial use permit, shall be required to permit the county to enter and inspect the premises upon twenty-four-hour notice to the applicant, operator, owner or lessee of the property or premises.

I. Appeals from any decision or order of the Director or Zoning Commissioner may be taken to the Board of Appeals in accordance with § 32-3-401 of the Baltimore County Code. [Bill No. 137-2004]

Baltimore County has a county-wide rental registration program that requires all owners of rental properties of six or fewer units to register the property with the County Department of Permits and Development Management. For more information on the rental registration program, go here. Baltimore County zoning regulations permit no more than TWO unrelated adult tenants per unit in buildings with six of fewer units.

Towson University has a Policy on Off-Campus Disorderly & Disruptive Behavior that defines when the University will get involved to address off-campus student behavior. See the policy here.

Report problems with off-campus TU students to Or call the TU Student Lifeline: 410-704-LIFE (5433)

Upon request, Baltimore County will evaluate the need for new or upgraded street lighting to improve safety and security. Residents or a community association should submit petitions signed by a majority of the neighbors near the proposed new or upgraded light.

Convicted sex offenders are required by law to register with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which maintains the sex offender registry. Offenders must notify the Department of any change in their address. To check the sex offender registry at:

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