Town of Leonardtown, MD
St. Marys County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Leonardtown 9-10-1990 by Ord. No. 63 (superseding former Ch. 92, Livability Standards, adopted 5-11-1987 by Res. No. 2-87). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 82.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 112.

§ 92-1 Title; scope; intent.

A. 
Title. These regulations shall be known as the "Minimum Livability Code" or "this chapter."
B. 
Scope. This chapter is created to protect the public health, safety and welfare in residential structures and premises by:
(1) 
Establishing minimum property maintenance standards for basic equipment and facilities used for light, ventilation, heating and sanitation for residential structures and premises and for safe and sanitary maintenance of residential structures and premises.
(2) 
Establishing minimum requirements for residential structures and premises for means of egress, fire-protection systems and other equipment and devices necessary for safety from fire.
(3) 
Fixing the responsibilities of property owners, operators and tenants of residential structures and premises.
(4) 
Providing for administration, enforcement and penalties.
C. 
Intent. This chapter shall be construed to effectively and justly protect public health, safety and welfare insofar as they are affected by the continued use and maintenance of residential structures and premises.

§ 92-2 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
Rules of interpretation shall be as follows:
(1) 
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the terms defined in Subsection B shall have the meanings indicated for purposes of this chapter.
(2) 
Words used in the present tense include the future; words in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; and the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular.
(3) 
Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, they shall have their ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context may imply.
B. 
Terms defined.
ACT
Section 6-103 of Article 83B of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
BASEMENT
That portion of a structure which is partly or completely below grade, meaning it is at least 50% below grade.
BUILDING CODE
The Building Code now or hereafter adopted by the Leonardtown Commissioners or such other code as may be designated by the Leonardtown Commissioners for the regulation of construction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, occupancy or maintenance of residential premises and structures.
CODE
The Leonardtown Minimum Livability Code.
CODE OFFICIAL
The Town Administrator or Chief of Permits and Inspections of the Office of Planning and Zoning, his agents and designees.
CONDEMN
To declare a structure or part thereof, premises or equipment unsafe or unfit for use or occupation.
DEPARTMENT
Locally, the Leonardtown Office of Planning and Zoning. At the state level, it pertains to the Department of Housing and City Development.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating or trapping; or by any other pest elimination methods which have received all necessary and legally required approvals.
GARBAGE
The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
HABITABLE AREA
The space in a structure used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking, including bathrooms and toilet compartments. Closets, halls, storage or utility space and similar areas are not considered "habitable areas."
HEATING
The heating system installed and adjusted so as to provide for the distribution of heat to all habitable areas.
HOUSING UNIT
A single unit of a structure providing or intended to provide complete living and sleeping facilities for one or more persons.
INFESTATION
The presence within a structure or premises of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
MAINTENANCE
The repair and other acts intended to prevent a decline in the condition of a structure, premises or equipment below the standards established by this chapter and other applicable statutes, codes and ordinances.
OCCUPANT
Any individual having possession of a space within a housing unit.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which is offered for residential occupancy.
PERSON
Includes an individual, partnership, limited partnership, trust, estate, association or corporation.
PLUMBING
The practice, materials, facilities and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, extension or alteration of all piping, fixtures, appliances and appurtenances within the scope of the applicable plumbing code.
PLUMBING FIXTURE
A receptacle or device which is either permanently or temporarily connected to the water distribution system of the premises and demands a supply of water therefrom or discharges used water, liquidborne waste materials or sewage either directly or indirectly to the drainage system of the premises or which requires both a water supply connection and a discharge to the drainage system of the premises.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the structures thereon.
PROPERTY OWNER
Any person having a legal or equitable interest in the premises, including the guardian of the estate of any such person or the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of the premises by a court.
RUBBISH
Paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery, dust and other similar materials as well as the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials.
SECRETARY
The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development.
STRUCTURE
A residential structure used or intended for human habitation.
TENANT
An occupant other than a property owner.
VENTILATION
The process of supplying and removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space.
(1) 
Mechanical: ventilation by power-driven devices.
(2) 
Natural: ventilation by opening to outer air through windows, skylights, doors, louvers or stacks without power-driven devices.

§ 92-3 Application.

A. 
The Minimum Livability Code shall apply to residential structures and premises used for human habitation except:
(1) 
Owner-occupied single-family housing units.
(2) 
Any housing exempted by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(3) 
Any housing exempted under the authority of § 92-4B of this chapter.
B. 
Any repairs or alterations to a structure or changes of use therein which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this chapter shall be done in accordance with the procedures and provisions of any applicable local building code, plumbing code, mechanical code and electrical code or any other code or standard applicable to housing.
C. 
The provisions in this chapter shall not abolish or impair any remedies available to the Leonardtown Commissioners or its officers, departments or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe and unsanitary.
D. 
All repairs, maintenance, alterations or installations which are required for compliance with this chapter shall be executed and installed in accordance with the Code Official's determination so as to secure the results intended by this chapter.

§ 92-4 Code enforcement.

A. 
Local enforcement. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Town Administrator or Chief of Permits and Inspections of the Office of Planning and Zoning, his agents and designees to enforce the provisions of this chapter as herein provided; however, the Code Official shall investigate only those complaints made to him and his designees that are in writing and contain the identity of the complainant.
B. 
Local waiver.
(1) 
The Code Official may waive applicability of this chapter, in whole or part, to a housing unit or units on application of the property owner and operator if:
(a) 
Adequate prior written notice is afforded to at least one adult tenant of the unit;
(b) 
The tenant is afforded an opportunity to comment on the application either in writing or in person; and
(c) 
The waiver would not threaten the property, health and/or safety of any tenant.
(2) 
The Code Official may also waive applicability of this chapter on the basis of the religious practices of the occupant of the housing unit or where residency is a condition based on an employment relationship with the property owner and operator.
C. 
Displacement. Enforcement of the Minium Livability Code shall not displace a person unless the Code Official determines that alternate housing of comparable affordability is available within a reasonable distance of the vacated premises or necessary employment. Where displacement is ordered by the Code Official, no housing unit shall be rented and/or subsequently occupied by a tenant without determination by the Code Official that the dwelling unit complies with this chapter; however, if the cause of the displacement is deemed by the Code Official to be the responsibility of the tenant, this subsection shall not be applicable to such displacement.
D. 
Enforcement. Enforcement and waiver application are not intended to supersede any state laws pursuant to the Annotated Code of Maryland as follows:
(1) 
State Fire Laws, Article 38A.
(2) 
State Elevator Laws, Article 89.
(3) 
State Boiler Laws, Article 48.

§ 92-5 Duties and powers of Code Official.

A. 
General. The Code Official shall enforce the provisions of this chapter except as may otherwise be specifically provided by these regulations.
B. 
Notices and orders. The Code Official shall issue all notices and orders necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.
C. 
Inspections. The Code Official is authorized to enter any structure or premises at any reasonable time upon providing reasonable notice to the property owner and operator and tenant for the purpose of making inspections and performing duties under this chapter.
D. 
Alterations and repairs.
(1) 
The Code Official has the authority to require and approve any alterations or repairs necessary to bring a structure or premises into compliance with this chapter. The determination of what may be necessary to bring such premises into compliance shall take into consideration state and local standards and practices, together with use of other practical alternatives and equivalent approaches.
(2) 
As provided for in this chapter, the Code Official shall have the authority to approve changes in any alterations or repairs in the field when conditions are encountered which make the originally approved work impractical, provided that such changes in approved work can be readily determined to be in compliance with this chapter and are requested by the property owner and operator prior to such changes. Such changes shall be specifically documented by the property owner and operator or by his agent, describing the change in work and the reasons and justification for the change, and shall be filed with the permit for the project.
E. 
Right of entry. If any property owner, operator or tenant of a structure refuses, impedes, inhibits, interferes with, restricts or obstructs entry and free access to any part of the structure or premises where inspection authorized by this chapter is sought, the Code Official may seek, in a court of competent jurisdiction, an order that such property owner, operator or tenant cease and desist from such interference.
F. 
Access by property owner and operator. A tenant of a structure or premises shall give the property owner and operator thereof access to any part of such structure or its premises at reasonable times upon being given reasonable notice for the purpose of making such inspection, maintenance, repairs or alterations as are necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter. This reasonable notice shall depend on exigencies of life, health and safety, together with the preservation of property.
G. 
Credentials. The Code Official shall disclose his credentials for the purpose of inspecting any structure or premises.
H. 
Coordination of enforcement. The inspection of structures and premises, the issuance of notices and orders and enforcement of them shall be the responsibility of the Code Official. Whenever the Code Official, initiating an inspection of a premises under this chapter, becomes aware that an inspection of the same premises is to be made by any other governmental official or agency, the Code Official shall make a reasonable effort to arrange for the coordination of the inspections so as to minimize the number of visits by inspectors. The Code Official shall confer with the other governmental official or agency for the purpose of eliminating conflicting orders before any are issued. The Code Official shall not, however, cause the delay of the issuance of any emergency orders by any governmental official or agency which the governmental official or agency determines must be issued.

§ 92-6 Condemnation.

A. 
General. When a structure or part thereof is found by the Code Official to be unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or use, the Code Official may condemn the structure or part thereof and may order the structure or part thereof to be placarded and vacated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The structure or part thereof shall not be reoccupied without approval of the Code Official. Unsafe equipment may be condemned, placarded and placed out of service pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Unsafe structure. An unsafe structure is one of which all or part thereof is found by the Code Official to be dangerous to life, health, property or the safety of its tenants by not providing minimum protection from fire or because it is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation that it is likely to partially or completely collapse. This definition also includes unsafe structures as defined by Chapter 155, Zoning.
C. 
Unsafe equipment. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, cooking equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that it is found by the Code Official to be a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the tenants of the premises or structure. Unsafe equipment may contribute to the finding that the structure is unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or use.
D. 
Structure unfit for human occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy or use whenever the Code Official finds that it is unsanitary, vermin or rodent infested, contains filth or contamination or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by this chapter.
E. 
Closing of vacant structures. Upon failure of a property owner and operator to close or vacate a premises within the time specified in an order, the Code Official may cause the premises to be closed through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement with private persons, and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate which may, in addition to other remedies, be charged and collected in the same manner as real property taxes.

§ 92-7 Notices and orders.

A. 
General. Whenever the Code Official determines that there has been a violation of this chapter or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred or whenever the Code Official has determined to condemn any structure or part thereof or equipment under the provisions of § 92-6, notice shall be given to the property owner and operator and to the tenant in the manner prescribed in this chapter. If the Code Official has condemned the structure or part thereof or equipment, the Code Official shall serve prior notice to the property owner and operator and to the tenants of the intent to:
(1) 
Order the structure or part thereof placarded or vacated; or
(2) 
Order the equipment placed out of service.
B. 
Service of notice. Notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon a property owner and operator or tenant by one of the following methods:
(1) 
By delivering to the person to be served or his agent a copy of the notice and all other necessary papers;
(2) 
By mailing to the person to be served at his last known address or to his agent, by certified or registered mail with return receipt requested, a copy of the notice and all other necessary papers; or
(3) 
If the certified or registered letter is returned with receipt showing that it has not been delivered, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice.
C. 
Notice to vacate. When a condemnation order is served on a tenant, the tenant shall be given a reasonable time to vacate the structure in accordance with state or local law.
D. 
Transfer of ownership. A property owner and operator who has received a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served shall not sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of the premises until the provisions of the compliance order or notice of violation have been complied with or until the property owner and operator shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of the compliance order or notice of violation issued by the Code Official and shall furnish to the Code Official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee in which he acknowledges the receipt of the compliance order or notice of violation and states that he fully accepts and assumes the responsibility without condition for making the corrections or repairs required by such compliance order or notice of violation. All code violation/citation notices will immediately be placed in the county land records.
E. 
Removal of placard. A property owner and operator shall not cause a condemnation placard to be defaced or removed without the approval of the Code Official.

§ 92-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Penalty. Any property owner and operator who knowingly or willfully violates any provision of this chapter may be enjoined from committing such violations by any court of competent jurisdiction. The Code Official shall be responsible for seeking injunctive relief and shall also be authorized to recover reasonable attorney's fees and court costs for the judicial proceeding.
B. 
Other penalties. Any penalty ordered under this chapter is in addition to and is not a substitute for any other penalty authorized under a federal, state or local law.

§ 92-9 Right to appeal.

Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Code Official which has been made in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or of a regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter may request, in writing, and may be granted a hearing before the Board of Appeals in the manner prescribed in § 92-10 below. Any such appeal shall be taken no later than 30 calendar days following the final decision of the Code Official.

§ 92-10 Livability Code Board of Appeals.

A. 
There shall be a Leonardtown Livability Code Board of Appeals which shall consist of five members appointed by the Leonardtown Commissioners. The members shall be appointed for staggered terms. The Board shall select its Chairperson by majority vote. A member shall serve until a successor has been appointed. The Board of Appeals, upon request, shall be assisted in carrying out its responsibilities by the Town Attorney or such other counsel as the Leonardtown Commissioners may from time to time appoint.
B. 
The Board shall be responsible for hearing and deciding any appeal taken from any decision of the Code Official concerning the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or of a regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
In any appeal filed with the Board of Appeals, it shall hold a public hearing.
(1) 
In the conduct of such hearing:
(a) 
All testimony at appeal hearings shall be given under oath. The Chairperson of the Board of Appeals or, if absent, the Acting or Vice Chairperson is authorized to administer oaths. The parties or their counsel shall present to the Board all evidence collected with reference to the appeal. Parties may present testimony and cross-examine witnesses. The parties may be represented by counsel, and the proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with regulations governing such hearings as adopted by the Board.
(b) 
A final order resulting from the hearing shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(2) 
If aggrieved by a final order of the Board of Appeals, a party to the appeal may request judicial review in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1100, Subtitle B, of the Maryland Rules of Procedure. If a timely appeal for judicial review is filed, the final order shall not be stayed pending final disposition by the revising court.
(3) 
In carrying out the provisions of the chapter, the Board may issue subpoenas in aid of investigations, to compel attendance and testimony of witnesses at hearings and for the production of books, papers, records, documents or other tangible objects. Such subpoenas may be judicially enforced.
D. 
The Board of Appeals may adopt rules and regulations in order to carry out the provisions of this section.

§ 92-11 Environmental requirements.

A. 
Scope. The provisions of this regulation shall establish the minimum standards for maintenance of premises and structures.
B. 
Premises conditions shall be as follows:
(1) 
Sanitation. All premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
(2) 
Insect and rodent control. The premises shall be free from infestation of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
C. 
Exterior structure.
(1) 
General. The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair and shall be structurally sound and maintained in a sanitary condition so as not to pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants.
(2) 
Structural members. All supporting structural members of a structure shall be kept structurally sound and free of deterioration and maintained capable of safely bearing the dead and live loads imposed upon them.
(3) 
Exterior surfaces. Every foundation, exterior wall, roof and all other exterior surfaces shall be maintained in good repair and shall be kept in such condition as to exclude rodents and other pests.
(4) 
Foundation walls. All foundation walls shall be structurally sound and shall be maintained free from open cracks and breaks.
(5) 
Exterior walls. Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers and any other conditions which might admit rain or dampness to the interior portions of the walls or to the occupied areas of the structure. All exterior surface materials, including wood, composition or metal siding, shall be maintained weatherproof and shall be properly surface coated when required to prevent deterioration.
(6) 
Roofs and drainage. The roof shall be structurally sound and shall not have defects which might admit rain. Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent rainwater from causing dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure.
(7) 
Decorative features. All cornices, entablatures, belt courses, corbels, terra-cotta trim, wall facings and similar decorative features shall be maintained in a safe condition.
(8) 
Signs, marquees and awnings. All canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, stairways, fire escapes, standpipes, exhaust ducts and similar overhang extensions shall be maintained in good repair, be properly anchored and kept in a safe and sound condition. They shall be protected from the elements and against decay and rust by the periodic application of a weather-coating material such as paint or other protective treatment.
(9) 
Chimneys. All chimneys, cooling towers, smokestacks and similar appurtenances shall be maintained structurally sound, safe and in good repair. All exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials such as paint or similar surface treatment.
(10) 
Stairs and porches. Every exterior stair, porch, fire escape, balcony and all appurtenances attached thereto shall be safe in use and capable of supporting the anticipated loads and shall be maintained in a safe and sound condition and good repair.
(11) 
Windows, doors and frames. Every window, door and frame shall be maintained so as to exclude rain and rodents as completely as possible and to substantially exclude wind from entering the structure.
(12) 
Weathertight. Every window and exterior door shall be fitted reasonably in its frame and be weathertight. Every window shall be free of cracks and holes.
(13) 
Openable windows. Every window used for ventilation or emergency escape shall be capable of being easily opened from the inside and shall be held in position by window hardware.
(14) 
Insect screens.
(a) 
During the period from April 1 to December 1, every door and window or other outside opening used for ventilation purposes shall be supplied with tight-fitting insect screens.
(b) 
Exception. Upon the prior approval of the Code Official, screens shall not be required for exterior doors or other types of openings which make screening impractical, such as openings equipped with air-conditioning units or openings above the fourth floor. The Code Official may require alternatives to screens.
(15) 
Door hardware. Every exterior door and its hardware shall be maintained in good condition. Door locks on all interior and exterior doors entering housing units shall be in good repair and capable of tightly securing the door.
D. 
Interior structure.
(1) 
General. The interior of a structure and its equipment and facilities shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a sanitary condition so as not to pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants.
(2) 
Structural members. The supporting structural members of a structure shall be maintained structurally sound and free of deterioration and maintained capable of safely carrying the imposed loads.
(3) 
Interior surfaces. Floors, walls (including windows and doors), ceilings and other interior surfaces shall be maintained in good repair and in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.
(4) 
Bathroom and kitchen floors. Every toilet, bathroom and kitchen floor surface shall be maintained so as to be substantially impervious to water to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
(5) 
Sanitation.
(a) 
The interior of a structure shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage. Rubbish or garbage shall be properly kept inside temporary storage facilities. Rubbish or garbage shall not be allowed to accumulate or be stored in public halls or stairways.
(b) 
A structure shall be kept free from infestation and, where infestation is found, the area shall be promptly exterminated by processes which will not be injurious to human health. Continuing or repeated incidents of infestation, as determined by the Code Official, shall require the installation of rodent- and verminproof walls. The rodent- and verminproof walls shall be installed in accordance with the applicable local building code.
(6) 
Exit doors. Every door available as an exit shall be capable of being opened easily from the inside.
(7) 
Exit facilities. All interior stairs and railings and other exit facilities of a structure shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair. Every interior stair used for exit shall be maintained so as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the anticipated loads.

§ 92-12 Light and ventilation requirements.

A. 
General.
(1) 
Scope. The provisions of this regulation shall govern the minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities used for light and ventilation of a structure.
(2) 
Alternative methods and devices. In place of the means for natural light and ventilation herein prescribed, alternative arrangement of windows, louvers or other devices or methods that will provide the equivalent minimum performance requirements shall be permitted in order to comply with the applicable local building code.
B. 
Light.
(1) 
General. All areas in a structure shall be provided sufficient light as not to endanger health and safety. All areas in a structure shall be provided with natural light or equipment to accommodate artificial light of sufficient intensity and distributed so as to permit the maintenance of sanitary conditions and the safe use of the area and the appliances, equipment and fixtures.
(2) 
Common halls and stairways. Every common hall and stairway in a structure, other than one- and two-family structures, shall be adequately lighted at all times with an illumination equivalent to the footcandles provided by at least a sixty-watt standard incandescent light bulb for each 200 square feet of floor area, provided that the spacing between lights shall not be greater than 30 feet. Every exterior stairway shall be illuminated.
C. 
Ventilation.
(1) 
General. All areas in a structure shall be provided sufficient ventilation so as not to endanger health and safety.
(2) 
Mechanical ventilation. Where mechanical ventilation is provided in lieu of natural ventilation, such mechanical ventilating system shall be maintained in operation during the occupancy of the structure or portion thereof. When part of the air provided by a mechanical ventilation system is recirculated, the portion or volume of air recirculated shall not be recirculated to a different habitable area.

§ 92-13 Plumbing facilities and fixture requirements.

A. 
Scope. The provisions of this regulation shall govern the minimum standards for plumbing facilities and fixtures.
B. 
Required plumbing facilities. Every housing unit shall include its own plumbing facilities which shall be maintained in proper operating condition, can be used in privacy and are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste. The following minimum plumbing facilities shall be supplied and maintained in a sanitary and safe working condition:
(1) 
Water closet and lavatory. Every housing unit shall contain within its walls a room separate from other habitable areas which provides a water closet supplied with cold running water and which affords privacy. A lavatory shall be placed in the same room as the water closet or located in another room in close proximity to the door leading directly into the room in which said water closet is located. The lavatory shall be supplied with hot and cold running water.
(2) 
Bathtub or shower. Every housing unit shall contain a room which is equipped with a bathtub or shower supplied with hot and cold running water and which affords privacy.
(3) 
Kitchen sink. Every housing unit shall contain a kitchen sink apart from the lavatory required under Subsection B(1), and such sink shall be supplied with hot and cold running water.
C. 
Alternative plumbing. Alternative plumbing facilities and fixtures for use in housing units may be allowed as approved on a case-by-case basis by those local applicable authorities/boards.
D. 
Plumbing fixtures.
(1) 
General. All plumbing fixtures shall be maintained in a safe and usable condition. All plumbing fixtures shall be of nonabsorbent material and shall have received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(2) 
Connections. Water supply lines, plumbing fixtures, vents and drains shall be properly installed, connected and maintained in working order and shall be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects and shall be capable of performing the function for which they are designed. All repairs and installations shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the applicable local building code or applicable local plumbing code.
(3) 
Maintenance. All plumbing fixtures shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition so as not to breed insects and rodents or produce dangerous or offensive gases or odors.
(4) 
Access for cleaning. Plumbing fixtures shall be installed to permit easy access for cleaning both the fixture and the area around it.
E. 
Water system.
(1) 
General. Every sink, lavatory, bathtub or shower, drinking fountain, water closet or other plumbing facility shall be properly connected to either a public water system or to a private water system which has received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(2) 
Contamination. The water supply system shall be maintained free from contamination. All water inlets for plumbing fixtures shall be located above the overflow rim of the fixture.
(3) 
Water supply. The water supply system shall be installed and maintained to provide at all times a supply of water to plumbing facilities, fixtures, devices and appurtenances in sufficient volume and at pressures adequate to enable them to function satisfactorily.
(4) 
Water-heating facilities. Water-heating facilities shall be installed in a manner which has received all necessary and legally required approvals, properly maintained and properly connected with hot-water lines to the fixtures required to be supplied with the hot water. Water-heating facilities shall be capable of heating water to such a temperature so as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub, shower and laundry facility or other similar facilities at a temperature of not less than 110º F.
(5) 
Alternative water systems. Alternative water systems may be allowed as approved on a case-by-case basis by the local health department.
F. 
Sewage system.
(1) 
General. Every sink, lavatory, bathtub or shower, drinking fountain, water closet or other plumbing facility shall be properly connected to either a public sewer system or private sewage disposal system which has received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(2) 
Maintenance. Every plumbing stack and waste and sewer line shall be installed and maintained so as to function properly and shall be kept free from obstructions, leaks and defects to prevent structural deterioration or health hazards. All repairs and installations shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the applicable local building code or applicable local plumbing code.

§ 92-14 Mechanical and electrical requirements.

A. 
General; scope. The provisions of this regulation shall govern the minimum standards for mechanical and electrical facilities and equipment.
B. 
Heating facilities.
(1) 
Residential structures.
(a) 
Every housing unit shall be supplied with sufficient heat or heating equipment capable of supplying sufficient heat during the period from October 1 to May 15 to maintain a room temperature of not less than 65º F. in all habitable areas during the hours between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. of each day and maintain a temperature of not less than 60º F. during other hours. The temperature shall be measured at a point three feet above the floor and three feet from exterior walls.
(b) 
Exception. When the exterior temperature falls below zero degrees Fahrenheit and the heating system is operating at its full capacity, a minimum room temperature of 60º F. shall be maintained at all times.
(2) 
Cooking and heating equipment. All cooking and heating equipment, components and accessories in every heating, cooking and water-heating device shall be maintained free from leaks and water-flow obstructions and kept functioning properly so as to be free from fire, health and safety hazards. All installations and repairs shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the applicable local building code or other applicable laws or ordinances thereto. Portable cooking equipment employing flame is prohibited, except for residential-type food trays or salvers which are heated by a candle or alcohol lamp and which have received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(3) 
Installation. All mechanical equipment used for heating and cooking shall be properly installed and safely maintained in good working condition and shall be capable of performing the function for which it was designed and intended.
(4) 
Fuel-burning equipment. All fuel-burning equipment shall be connected to a chimney, flue or vent in accordance with applicable local or state codes or per manufacturer's instructions in cases where no local or state codes apply.
(5) 
Clearances. All necessary and legally required clearances to combustible materials shall be maintained.
(6) 
Safety controls. All safety controls for fuel-burning equipment shall be maintained in effective operation in accordance with applicable local or state codes or per manufacturer's instructions in cases where no local or state codes apply.
(7) 
Combustion air. A supply of air for complete combustion of the fuel and for ventilation of the space shall be provided the fuel-burning equipment.
(8) 
Unauthorized devices. Devices purporting to reduce gas consumption by attachment to a gas appliance, the gas supply line thereto or the vent outlet or vent piping therefrom shall not be used unless labeled for such use and the installation has specifically received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(9) 
Fireplaces. Fireplaces and other construction and devices intended for use similar to a fireplace shall be stable and structurally safe and connected to chimneys which have received all necessary and legally required approvals.
(10) 
Climate control. When facilities for interior climate control (heating, cooling and humidity) are integral functions of housing units, such facilities shall be maintained and operated in accordance with the designed capacity.
C. 
Electrical facilities.
(1) 
Facilities required. Provided that there is usable electric service available from a power line not more than 300 feet away, a structure shall be adequately and safely provided with an electrical system in compliance with the requirements of this section.
(2) 
Receptacles. Every habitable area in a housing unit shall contain at least one receptacle outlet. Every laundry area and bathroom shall contain at least one grounded-type receptacle. Every kitchen shall contain at least two receptacles.
(3) 
Lighting fixtures. Every public hall, interior stairway, water closet compartment, bathroom, laundry room and furnace room shall contain at least one electric lighting fixture.
(4) 
Service. When the electrical system requires modification to correct a violation of this section, the service shall be corrected to a minimum of sixty-ampere, three-wire service.
(5) 
Installation. All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be installed and maintained in a safe manner in accordance with all applicable laws. All electrical equipment shall be of a type which has received all necessary and legally required approvals.

§ 92-15 Firesafety requirements.

A. 
Scope. The provisions of this regulation shall govern the minimum standards for firesafety facilities and equipment. All structures shall be constructed and maintained to prevent and avoid fire hazards and in a manner conducive to firesafety.
B. 
Means of egress.
(1) 
General. A safe, continuous and unobstructed means of egress shall be provided from the interior of a structure to the exterior at a street, yard, court or passageway leading to a public open area at grade.
(2) 
Direct exit. Every housing unit shall have access directly to the outside or to a common area that leads directly to the outside.
(3) 
Doors. All doors in the required means of egress shall be easily opened from the inner side.
(4) 
Fire escapes. All fire escapes shall be maintained in working condition and structurally sound.
(5) 
Exit signs. All exit signs shall be illuminated and visible.
(6) 
Emergency escape. Every sleeping room located in a basement shall have at least one openable window or exterior door for emergency egress or rescue which has received all necessary and legally required approvals or shall have access to two separate exits which have received all necessary and legally required approvals.
C. 
Accumulations and storage.
(1) 
General. Garbage or rubbish shall not be allowed to accumulate in stairways, passageways, doors, windows, fire escapes or other means of egress.
(2) 
Flammable matter. Highly flammable or explosive matter, such as paints, volatile oils and cleaning fluids, or combustible rubbish, such as wastepaper, boxes and rags, shall not be accumulated or stored on premises except in reasonable quantities consistent with normal usage.
(3) 
Residential unit. A housing unit shall not be located within a structure containing an establishment handling, dispensing or storing flammable liquids with a flash point of 100º F. or lower, except as provided for in the applicable local building code.
D. 
Fire-resistance ratings. Floors, walls, ceilings and other elements and components which are required by the applicable fire code to comply with a fire-resistance rating shall be maintained so that the respective fire-resistance rating of the enclosure, separation or construction is preserved.
E. 
Fire-protection systems.
(1) 
General. All fire-protection systems and equipment shall be maintained in proper operating condition at all times.
(2) 
Smoke detectors. All housing units shall be provided with a minimum of one single-station smoke detector in the vicinity of each sleeping area. The smoke detectors shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the State Fire Laws, Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 38A, § 12A, Smoke Detection Systems. When actuated, the smoke detector shall provide an alarm suitable to warn the occupants within the unit.
(3) 
Fire-suppression system. Fire-suppression systems in housing units so equipped shall be maintained in good condition, free from mechanical defect. Sprinkler heads shall be kept clean and free of corrosion and paint and shall not be bent or damaged.
(4) 
Fire extinguishers. All portable fire extinguishers in housing units so equipped shall be visible and accessible and maintained in an efficient and safe operating condition.
F. 
Fire doors. All necessary and legally required fire-resistance-rated doors or smoke barriers shall be maintained in good working order, including all hardware necessary for the proper operation thereof. The use of doorstops, wedges and other hold-open devices which have not received all necessary and legal approvals or which have been denied approval is prohibited.

§ 92-16 Responsibilities of owner, operator and tenant.

A. 
Scope. The property owner and operator and the tenant shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and may be cited for violations thereof. No property owner and operator shall permit a tenant to occupy a structure or premises which is not in compliance with provisions of this chapter unless waiver approval is obtained under § 92-4B of this chapter. After the tenant takes possession of the housing unit, the tenant is responsible for promptly reporting discrepancies regarding the housing unit (in writing) to the property owner and operator that occur after occupancy. This written notice to the property owner and operator must occur first and record of such notice presented to the Code Official before enforcement of this chapter under § 92-4 occurs, unless enforcement is deemed necessary for safety by the Code Official.
B. 
General. A property owner and operator may not be cited for a violation of this chapter that is caused by the negligent, wrongful or malicious acts or omissions of a tenant, provided that the property owner's and operator's acts and omissions have not materially contributed in any way to cause such violation.
C. 
Sanitary condition.
(1) 
Cleanliness. The tenant shall be responsible for keeping that part of the structure or premises which the tenant occupies, controls or uses in a clean and sanitary condition. Every property owner and operator of a structure containing two or more housing units shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition the common areas of the structure and premises.
(2) 
Disposal and storage of rubbish and garbage. The tenant shall be responsible for the storage and disposal of rubbish and garbage in a clean and sanitary manner as may be required by applicable laws or ordinances.
(3) 
Supplied fixtures and equipment. The tenant shall be responsible for keeping owner-supplied equipment and fixtures clean and sanitary and for the exercise of reasonable care in their proper use and operation. The property owner and operator shall be responsible for maintaining such equipment and fixtures in good and proper operating condition.
(4) 
Furnished by tenant. The tenant shall be responsible for the maintenance of equipment and fixtures furnished by the tenant. Such equipment and fixtures shall be properly installed and shall be maintained in good working condition and kept clean and sanitary and free of defects, leaks or obstructions.
D. 
Extermination.
(1) 
All structures. If necessary, the property owner and operator shall be responsible for extermination within the structure and on the premises prior to renting or leasing the structure.
(2) 
Single occupancy. The tenant of a structure containing a single housing unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests in the structure or the premises.
(3) 
Multiple occupancy. Every property owner and operator of a structure containing two or more housing units shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests in the structure or on the premises except where infestation within a housing unit is caused by a failure of the tenant to take reasonable action to prevent such infestation within the housing unit.
E. 
Firesafety. Responsibility for installing and maintaining in good working order any smoke detector installed pursuant to this chapter shall be in accordance with the State Fire Laws, Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 38A, § 12A, Smoke Detection Systems.