Frequently Asked Questions

Short-Term Rentals FAQs

     Who can participate in short-term rentals?

Any Prince George’s County homeowner whose home complies with County Code who has sought a valid license and is working with one of the rental platforms, such as Airbnb, is qualified to apply for a Short-Term Rental License for a home that is their primary residence.

Can I rent my townhouse or condo?

Townhouses and condos can be rented, as well as houses. Check with your HOA for requirements.

If I have a criminal record, can I rent my home?

There are no limitations in the Prince George’s County Short-Term Rentals law about who can rent their homes, as long as the home complies with County Code. Check with the rental platform you are interested in renting through for their policy.

Will my house be inspected by Prince George’s County before I am granted an STR license?

Your home will be inspected if there is a complaint or if DPIE or the managers of the Short-Term Rentals program have reason to think there is a need for an inspection.

What is the process to participate?

Anyone interested in renting their home should complete the online application and pay the $150 fee. A 90-day certificate will be granted pending approval of the license. The licensing application process includes completing several documents, then attesting to a number of requirements set forth in the law, CB-11-2018. All documents and the attestation page can be accessed online. There are some documents that you will be required to upload to DPIE.

How much does it cost to participate?

The application fee is $150. The STR license must be renewed each year at a cost of $150.There may be additional costs involved in bringing the home into compliance with Short-Term Rentals requirements, such as equipping the home with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, etc.

If I change my mind after I apply, can I get my money back?

Any fees paid in the application and licensing process are nonrefundable.

What if I apply for a license and the County denies me?

Applicants who are denied a license by the administrators of the Short-Term Rentals program have the right to appeal, first to the DPIE Enforcement Division Associate Director. If they disagree with that finding, they may appeal to the Prince George’s County Board of Appeals. There is a $200 fee to file an appeal with the board.

Do I have to have insurance to rent my house?

Applicants for STR licenses have attested to having $1 million in liability insurance, as required by most rental companies, and have provided a copy of the $1 million liability insurance policy. Failure to show proof of the liability insurance will mean disqualification from licensure.

Can I rent my house if I have a dog?

Check with your company to find out about requirements for pets. Prince George’s County has no limits on renting if you have pets if you disclose the pet(s) on the application form and the pet does not pose a threat to a renter. The County assumes no liability as relates to pets. Renters who stay at homes with pets do so at their own risk.

I have a Pit Bull.  May I rent my house as an STR?

No. DPIE will not grant a Short-Term Rentals License to property owners who own Pit Bull Terriers. Pursuant to Sections §§ 3-101, 3-116.01, 3-185.01 (1997) of the Prince George’s County Code, it is unlawful to own or keep a Pit Bull Terrier; with the exception of proof of ownership prior to November 1, 1996. 

What happens if I get busted lying or “misrepresenting” on my rental license application?

Falsifying the licensing documents can result in denial of a rental license application or permanent revocation of an active rental license.

Do I have to own the house to rent it?

Applicants for the STR license are required to provide proof of ownership of the property.

Do I have to live in the house to rent it under the STR program?

Hosts are required to attest that the property is their permanent residence.

My house is small. Is there a requirement that there be a certain number of square feet per person?  

Prince George’s County has no requirements related to the size of STR homes. Check with the rental platform through which you plan to rent.

Do I have to tell my neighbors that I am going to rent my house?

Applicants for short-term rental licenses are required to notify neighbors directly on both sides, behind and in front of the dwelling. They are required to attest to the fact that they have made the notifications. They must also notify their local civic or homeowners association and be current with any requirements of homeowner agencies that regulate their communities.

Some of my neighbors don’t like me. What if they don’t want me to rent my house?

You are required to notify your neighbors. However, it is not likely that they would be able to block the license unless they can prove that the home is not in compliance or is unsafe or there is some significant problem with the STR license applicant.

If someone staying in my house does something to one of the neighbors’ property, am I liable?

That is a question for the rental company with which you have the liability insurance policy.

If someone visits a renter in my home, am I liable if they get hurt?

You are liable for anyone who is injured in your home. See your liability insurance policy for details.

How do I know if there are hidden cameras or other surveillance equipment in the STR property?

Prince George’s County does not inspect for hidden cameras or other surveillance equipment and bears no responsibility for any incidents that may occur because of hidden surveillance equipment. Check with the rental company for their requirements as for as limits or disclosure of such equipment. You may also want to inspect the sleeping room and bathroom when you arrive at the home and report anything unusual to the rental platform and DPIE via CountyClick 311 (301-883-4748). Though Prince George’s County bears no responsibility, possession of hidden, undisclosed surveillance equipment may result in permanent revocation of the STR license.

I plan to rent a house for my daughter, who is only 19.  Is there a legal age?

Most platforms require a renter to be of legal age, which is 18 years old in Maryland.

How do I find out if the community around the house is safe?

You may check online law enforcement websites for crime stats and the existence of sex offenders. There are number of free sites where such information is available. The Maryland Sex Offender Registry  http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/sorSearch/ provides information about homes where sexual predators live. You may also contact the Prince George’s County Police Department for information at 301-390-2100.

How long can I rent my house out each year?

According to the legislation, renters:

“Shall not rent the short-term rental for more than 30 consecutive days;

Shall not rent the short-term rental more than 90 days per calendar year if the short-term rental is unoccupied by the owner;

Shall not rent the short-term rental more than 180 days per calendar year if the short-term rental is owner occupied

Shall not combine allowable time frames to exceed the permissible calendar days for short-term rentals...”

Sometime ago I got a citation for having trash in my backyard. Can I still rent? The inside of my house is good.

Only owners of properties in good standing – with no violations or citations will be considered for licensure. Dwellings cannot have unpermitted construction or converted or illegally subdivided spaces.

How often do I have to apply for an STR license?

The short-term rentals license must be renewed each year at a cost of $150.

I live in a municipality. Are there fees that I will be assessed there?

There may be a requirement for you to have an additional rental license if you live in a municipality. Check with your municipality for requirements. County municipalities can be found here.

Is the landlord required to provide parking? How much?

You must have one parking space for every three overnight guests.

I travel a lot with my frat brothers. There are 12 of us and we like to stay in the same place. Can we all bunk together, even if there aren’t beds for each of us?

Landlords are limited to a maximum of eight renters at a time. They are also limited to a maximum of three guests per bedroom.

We travel with our dog and cat. Can they stay in the rental house with us?

Check your rental platform for information about pets.

Can people from overseas rent my house?

There are no prohibitions in the legislation against foreigners renting.

 

How can I know if the renters are safe people?

Check to see what kind of vetting of renters the rental company does. DPIE does not vet renters.

Do I have to clean the place up when I leave the rental?

Check with your company to find out the cleaning requirements.

Can I advertise my home as a short-term rental?

Check with your platform information about advertising.

My friend manages a hotel in Prince George’s and she was required to take a short training course in human trafficking. Will I be required to do that?

Anyone who plans to rent their homes in the Short-Term Rentals program is required to take the training, which consists of watching a video and answering a series of questions.

What is the owner required to provide me as a renter?

There are safety equipment requirements and parking requirements that have been spelled out on this site. Check with the company to determine any other requirements, such as provisions, cleanliness, etc.

If the County comes to inspect my home, am I required to let them in?

A condition of licensure is agreeing to allow inspectors from DPIE and other appropriate agencies to enter the premises when asked.

How do I know if the house is safe?

Anyone who rents their home has attested to fulfilling certain safety requirements set forth by DPIE. Check with the rental company to determine if the landlord has complied with the company’s safety requirements, as well. Carefully read the details of the dwelling as described on the rental company’s website. Upon arrival, check to make sure the safety measures required by the platform and DPIE are present in the home. For example, landlords are required to have working fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. They are required to have an exit plan posted near the doorway of every sleeping room that clearly shows the safest path out of the house to safety outside in case of emergency. All exits must be clearly marked.