Town of Snow Hill, MD
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Snow Hill 10-11-1988 as Ord. No. 163. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 57.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 60.
Housing standards — See Ch. 101.
The Mayor and Council of Snow Hill do hereby establish a program for the enactment, enforcement and administration of a rental permit requirement for all rental units within the corporate boundaries of Snow Hill and for the periodic registration of all landlords and rental property owners for the purpose of regulating rental property conditions and for maintaining an inventory of available rental housing.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABSENTEE LANDLORD
Any landlord who resides outside the designated boundaries of Worcester County as those boundaries may be defined at the time of regular, periodic property registration.
HOUSING OFFICIAL
The town staff member designated by the Town Manager as having responsibility for enforcement of Chapter 101, Housing Standards, and this chapter.
HOUSING OR DWELLING UNIT
Any single unit which is capable of housing one separate household, whether a detached single-family structure or building or part of a multihousehold structure or building.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The "immediate family" of the owner of a housing unit consists of the owner's spouse, children, parents, grandparents or grandchildren.
[Added 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
LANDLORD
Any property owner or designated agent who offers a housing unit for occupancy to persons other than members of his immediate family in exchange for a fee or compensation, whether monetary or otherwise.
PRIMARY RESIDENCE
A dwelling, owner-occupied for a minimum of 183 days in a calendar year.
[Added 4-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
RENTAL PERMIT
A permit issued by the Town of Snow Hill stating that the referenced structure or unit conforms to the standards of Chapter 101, Housing Standards, and that occupancy of that structure or unit is permitted for residential use. Any special circumstances or conditions under which occupancy is permitted may be specified on that certificate.
RENTAL PROPERTY
Any housing unit or units which are occupied by persons other than the owner or his immediate family or for which a fee or compensation, monetary or otherwise, is received by the owner in exchange for such occupation.
RESIDENT AGENT
A representative of a property owner or landlord who resides within the designated boundaries of Worcester County as defined at the time of periodic property registration.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL UNIT
A primary residence in which a portion thereof, or structure in its entirety, is occupied by persons other than the owner or their immediate family for which a fee or compensation, monetary or otherwise, is received by the owner in exchange for occupation.
[Added 4-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
SHORT-TERM RESIDENT AGENT
A person or a property management company located within 20 miles of the Town of Snow Hill, Maryland, who accepts full responsibility for contact and administration of management for a registered short-term rental.
[Added 7-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-04]
SUBSTANDARD
Any deficiency in a structure or housing unit as defined by Chapter 101, Housing Standards, as amended.
A. 
All landlords must register with the Town of Snow Hill on or before July 31 of each and every calendar year or within 30 days of the date of mailing of yearly real estate tax bills. Upon adoption of this chapter, initial registration will begin as soon as practicable after this chapter is effective. It is the responsibility of the property owner to register any rental property or properties, and failure to do so constitutes a violation of these regulations and is subject to the penalties set forth herein.
B. 
All absentee landlords must have a resident agent for each rental unit.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Art. II., Sec. C, which immediately followed this subsection, regarding inspections after vacancies, was repealed 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6.
C. 
All rental properties will be inspected on an annual basis.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
D. 
Any substandard condition identified during an annual inspection must be corrected by the property owner before a rental permit shall be issued.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
E. 
No housing unit shall be let, rented or occupied by someone other than the owner or his immediate family until a rental permit has been obtained for that unit. However, no rental permit shall be required for units which are let or rented as of the effective date of this chapter for such time as the tenant in possession or residence as of the effective date of this chapter shall remain in possession or residence.
A. 
All property owners will receive notice with their yearly tax bills giving them 30 days in which to register any rental properties that they may own. Water and sewer bills will be used to cross-check which properties are rentals and which are owner-occupied.
B. 
The owner of a property constituting a rental unit shall register the same with the Housing Official within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter on a form approved by the Housing Official, showing the address of the rental unit, the name and address of the owner and his resident agent and the full name of the tenant in possession of the unit as of the effective date of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Art. III, Sec. C, which immediately followed this subsection and required that landlords sign a certificate of compliance, was repealed 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6.
C. 
The fee for registration will be included in the inspection fee in Subsection J § 137-5 below. Exemptions are stated in § 137-8 below.
[Amended 11-9-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-2]
D. 
Absentee landlords must designate a resident agent for service of process who resides within the corporate boundaries of Worcester County. If that agent's residence should be removed from Worcester County during the yearly registration period, another agent must be designated for the duration of that period.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for any property owner to offer any unit for rent or to allow any rental unit to be occupied without having first registered as a landlord as required herein within the time prescribed for such registration.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
F. 
Failure to receive notice of the registration deadline will not excuse failure to register rental units. It is the landlord's responsibility to fulfill registration requirements.
A. 
No rental unit may be occupied without a valid rental permit. No rental permit shall be issued until the housing unit has been inspected by the Housing Official to determine that the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 101, Housing Standards, have been met.
B. 
Any rental unit that is occupied at the time of the adoption of this chapter may continue to be occupied, even if substandard, so long as that unit does not constitute an unsafe structure as defined in Chapter 60, Buildings, Unsafe, or Chapter 101, Housing Standards, as amended. Such units will be issued a provisional rental permit valid only for the tenants in possession or residence at the time of adoption, for such time as those tenants remain in possession or residence.
C. 
A rental permit shall be valid for a period of one year from the date it is issued.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
D. 
The owner of a rental unit may request a rental permit even though the unit is exempted under the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
Rental units determined to be unsafe according to the provisions of Chapter 60, Buildings, Unsafe, and/or Chapter 101, Housing Standards, will be subject to condemnation as provided by those chapters and must be vacated. The notice to vacate the unit and any expenses resulting from that eviction are the sole responsibility of the owner. The town will not issue eviction notices, nor assume any responsibility for relocation or displacement expenses when that eviction is a result of the owner's noncompliance with these regulations.
F. 
Property owners subject to a demolition order will have the option of granting the property to the town in fee simple, with the town then assuming the responsibility for demolition and clearance, and assuming sole ownership of the property with all the rights thereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Art. IV, Sec. G, which immediately followed this subsection, regarding notification upon the vacation of a unit, was repealed 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6.
G. 
If the unit passes inspection, the rental permit shall be issued within five business days of the date of inspection. If the unit does not pass inspection, a notice of violations and work description shall be issued within 10 business days of the date of the inspection.
H. 
In the event that the town does not perform the specified action within the time period stated, the previous rental permit will be considered valid for the time that the tenant in possession or residence at the time of application for permit remains in possession or residence of the unit in question.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Original Art. IV, Sec. J, which immediately followed this subsection, regarding units vacated within 30 days of the last inspection, was repealed 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6.
I. 
Landlords or their agents must present the previous rental permit when applying for a new permit. Date of the last inspection will be verified from the previous permit.
J. 
The fee for a rental permit shall be as established by the Mayor and Council by resolution from time to time. The fee for registering a rental unit shall be as established by the Mayor and Council by resolution from time to time. The fee shall be stated in the fee schedule found in Chapter 131 of this Code.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6; 11-9-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-2]
A. 
Inspections of rental units shall be conducted on an annual basis to determine compliance with Chapter 101, Housing Standards.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
B. 
All inspections finding substandard conditions will be subject to the procedures set forth for violation of Chapter 101, Housing Standards, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Art. V, Secs. C and D, which immediately followed this subsection, regarding reinspection after every vacancy and landlord responsibility to apply for a new rental permit after vacancy, respectively, were repealed 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6.
C. 
Inspections shall be conducted and work descriptions shall be compiled and issued by the Code Enforcement Officer.
[Amended 1-14-1992 by Ord. No. 1991-6]
D. 
The Code Enforcement Officer will be responsible for arranging for the inspection of rental units and for initiating any other appropriate action under these regulations. The Code Enforcement Officer will give special consideration to any request that inspections be conducted during nonbusiness hours for the convenience of the tenant(s). In the absence of such a request, the inspections will be conducted during normal business hours as defined by the town business hours in force at the time.
A. 
Violations of this chapter will constitute a municipal infraction and will be subject to applicable penalties under this chapter in addition to those imposed by any other applicable code or ordinance, including, without limitation, Chapter 101, Housing Standards, or Chapter 60, Buildings, Unsafe.
B. 
Penalties for violations of these regulations will be imposed as follows:
(1) 
Failure to register as a landlord or agent:
(a) 
First offense: $25.
(b) 
Subsequent offenses: $50 each.
(2) 
Allowing occupancy without valid permit:
(a) 
First offense: $100.
(b) 
Subsequent offenses: $150 each.
[Added 11-9-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-2]
A. 
Landlords are exempted from the payment of registration and inspection fees if they comply with all of the following:
(1) 
The landlord shall be qualified under the Internal Revenue Code as a 501-C(3) organization.
(2) 
The landlord shall have units inspected, by an inspector approved by the Town of Snow Hill's Code Enforcement Officer, no less frequently with no lesser criteria for passing inspection than that established by the Town of Snow Hill.
(3) 
The landlord shall deliver to the Town of Snow Hill's Code Enforcement Officer a copy of said inspection within 14 days after the date of completion of said inspection.
(4) 
The landlord shall correct any and all deficiencies found in said inspection within 30 days after said inspection and deliver a report of those corrections within 45 days after said inspection to the Town of Snow Hill's Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
In the event that a landlord claims exemption under this section and fails to fulfill the requirements, then such landlord shall be subject to the registration and inspection fees set forth above, any additional inspection fees or costs incurred by the town and any other penalties set forth in this section. The town shall have the right to revoke said exemption if the landlord fails to comply with said requirements. The exemption from fees in no way modifies the obligation of the landlord to register rental units with the Town of Snow Hill.
[Added 4-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02; amended 7-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-04]
The structure in which the short-term rental housing takes place shall be the primary residence of the owner of the property. or a residential structure owned and not in use as a primary residence providing adherence to short-term resident agent requirements, or an accessory structure located on the same property provided said accessory structure satisfies all Building, Fire, Health and Safety Codes and Regulations for use in this manner . A second (one) primary residential structure used explicitly for short-term rental may be allowed by special exception providing the owner of the secondary primary short-term rental structure is a resident of the Town of Snow Hill, maintaining here their primary residence.
A. 
A landlord registration and rental permit will be required for all short-term housing. The fee will be $60 annually.
B. 
Occupancy will be allowed up to five unrelated persons in any one short-term rental under this provision and pursuant to all applicable Code of the Town of Snow Hill.
C. 
Parking requirements shall be:
(1) 
In an owner-occupied primary residence with rooms let for short-term rentals, two parking spaces, off-street, for owner and one parking space, off-street, per room rented shall be required.
(2) 
In use of a second primary structure used for short-term rental, two parking spaces off-street will be required per structure with one more parking space required off-street per room when more than two bedrooms are rented.
(3) 
There will be no off-street parking requirement for short-term rentals within the downtown shopping district.
D. 
Contact information:
(1) 
The owner shall provide personal contact information (name, address, telephone number and e-mail address) to be contacted 24 hours a day for any complaints or problems.
(2) 
If the property owner does not remain in Worcester County during the rental period, the owner must provide contact information for an agent that can be contacted 24 hours a day regarding any problem or issues. That named agent must have a primary residence in Worcester County.
E. 
Resident agent.
(1) 
A short-term rental resident agent will be named by the owner, and will serve for twenty-four-hour contact for an emergency or nuisance. The owner will provide the Town with the resident agent name, address, valid e-mail address, and valid phone number.
(2) 
When a property management company is used as a resident agent, the company must provide business license information, including name of the company and any licenses to the Town of Snow Hill.
(3) 
Resident agents must be available 24 hours per day to respond to tenant issues and emergency situations. Failure to respond to emergency situations, police department requests or Code Enforcement Officer requests will result in revocation of the short-term rental permit. All regulation in force upon owner-occupied short-term rental structures will be equally enforced upon non-primary residence short-term rental structures and in no way will be exempted from all requirements of the Town Code and its regulations.
F. 
In addition to providing required information to the Town of Snow Hill, the owner shall provide their contact information, as well the resident agent's contact information, to all properties within 400 feet of the owner's property by certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail on at least an annual basis.
G. 
Commercial food sales.
(1) 
There shall be no commercial food sales or preparation. Meals provided by the owner for guest shall be limited to breakfast items. Nothing herein shall limit the guest's ability to prepare their own food on the property.
H. 
Insurance.
(1) 
The property owner shall maintain property and liability insurance with an insurer who is aware of the owner's short-term rental housing exposure and that will respond in the event of a covered loss with liability limits of at least $500,000 and shall provide proof of said insurance at the time of application for a landlord registration and rental permit.
I. 
A ledger of renters in short-term rental housing shall be required to be maintained by owner, and shall be presented for inspection upon request of the Housing Official of the Town of Snow Hill. Ledger shall contain all information including, but not limited to cost of rental; arrival of renter; departure of renter; name of renter or renters; and number of occupants in renter's party.
J. 
Short-term rentals are subject to Worcester County room tax and Maryland sales tax. A copy of the Room Tax Application is required to accompany all applications for short-term rental/landlord permit applications. Contact the Worcester County Treasurers Office at (410) 632-0686 or online at http:// www.co.worcester.md.us/departments/treasurer /room for room tax application. Contact the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury for state sales tax requirements at (410) 260-7980 or 1-800-638-2937.
K. 
Short-term rental housing will comply with all regulations appurtenant contained within this chapter.