CLPA Policy Staff
Public Hearing on June 13th: Montgomery County Discusses New Short-Term Rental Regulations
On June 13th, the Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 22-23, Transient Lodging Facilities - Short-Term Residential Rental and Zoning Text Amendment 23-04. These bills propose changes to short-term residential rentals in the County.
Bill 22-23 would reassign hotel enforcement responsibility to the County's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The DHHS aims to protect the County's health, protect the health and safety of its most vulnerable citizens and address basic human needs, including food, shelter, and clothing. Enforcement duties for bed and breakfasts and short-term residential rentals reside with the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), whose job is to preserve and increase the County's supply of affordable housing.
The maximum penalty would be increased for violating Article III of Chapter 54 of the Montgomery County Code, which addresses "Bed and Breakfast and Short-Term Residential Rental." Currently, Article III is a Class A violation with an initial civil offense penalty of $500 and $750 for a repeat offense. If Bill 22-23 were enacted, the penalty would be $1,000 for an initial or repeat offense, and each day a violation continues is a separate offense.
Bill 22-23 proposes changes to requirements regarding ownership, residency, guest limit, registry, visitor policy, and notification of parties. Some of the most significant changes involve the limitation on short-term rentals. The bill specifies that the dwelling unit can only be used as a short-term residential rental for up to 120 days in a calendar year when the property owner is physically present in the dwelling unit. It also explains the processes for challenging an application, suspending or revoking a license, and appealing the Director's decision on a license to the Board of Appeals. Bill 22-23 would also amend the application process for a bed and breakfast or short-term residential rental license.
ZTA 23-04 would change the requirements for property ownership and rental days; it specifies that the dwelling unit must be the property owner's primary residence and limits the number of overnight guests. It also removes language about owner-authorized agents. The Council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on these proposals for June 13th, 2023.