Town of North Brentwood, MD
Prince George's County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of North Brentwood 9-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing standards — See Ch. 163.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 225.
It is declared to be the policy and intent of the Town of North Brentwood that all dwellings, rooms, and other residential structures, units, and premises let or rented for human habitation shall be regulated in accordance with this chapter for the purpose of ensuring the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare of all Town residents by establishing registration, limited inspection, and enforcement provisions in accordance with the Town's Housing Code (Chapter 163, Housing Standards, of the Code of the Town of North Brentwood) and other applicable ordinances, for rental housing units, fixing the responsibilities of property owners, operators, and tenants of rental housing structures and premises; and providing administration and penalties.
A. 
It is hereby the intent of the Council to cause to be registered and regulated all rental housing located within the corporate limits of the Town pursuant to this chapter. The Town does not intend to assume primary responsibility from the county for routine inspection of rental housing units. The Town's rental housing licensing program shall focus on registration, coordinating communications, ensuring code compliance, eliminating nuisances and improving public safety generally.
B. 
It is hereby the intent of the Council to avoid replacing, exempting from applicability or otherwise superseding the rental housing licensing and inspection requirements of Prince George's County, Maryland, as found in Subtitle 13, Division 4, of the Prince George's County Code. The county and the Town shall be considered to have concurrent jurisdiction over rental housing located within the Town. When administering its rental housing licensing program, the county, through its officials, shall enforce its own Housing Code (the International Property Maintenance Code, 2000 edition), as amended, and found in Subtitle 13 of the County Code.
C. 
The Housing Code of Prince George's County, Maryland, as amended from time to time, is substantially similar to the Housing Code of the Town of North Brentwood, as amended.[1] Both jurisdictions have adopted the International Property Maintenance Code, 2000 Edition, as amended. In any case where a provision of this chapter or the Town's Housing Code relating to rental housing is found by Town officials to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety, or health ordinance or code of this Town, Prince George's County, or the State of Maryland existing on the effective date of this chapter or thereafter, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 225, Property Maintenance, Art. II, Adoption of Property Maintenance Code.
D. 
This chapter shall be construed liberally and justly to protect public health, safety, and welfare insofar as they are affected by the continued use and maintenance of residential housing units, structures and premises.
The terms used in this chapter are defined as follows:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of North Brentwood.
HOUSING UNIT
A single unit of a structure, including but not limited to all dwellings, rooms, apartments, and other residential structures, units, and premises let or rented for human habitation (whether located in a single dwelling or multiple dwelling, rooming house, boardinghouse, or other structure), providing or intended to provide complete living and sleeping facilities for one or more persons. The definition of "housing unit," as used in this chapter, does not include any single-family housing units that are solely occupied by the property owner or by the property owner and members of the property owner's family, or any hotel, motel, or bed-and-breakfast establishment.
LOCAL AGENT
A Maryland resident appointed by the owner to supervise and/or care for the property and to respond to any violations concerning the property.
TOWN
The Town of North Brentwood.
A. 
The legal owner of record of any housing unit located within the Town shall not permit or allow such unit or dwelling to be occupied without first having obtained a rental license from the Town.
B. 
All applicable housing units shall be individually licensed in accordance with this chapter. A Town rental license shall not be issued unless or until proof of a valid rental license issued by the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources is provided to the Town.
A. 
On or before the effective date of this chapter hereby set and established to be June 1, 2014, the owners of all existing housing units within the Town shall be sent notices from the Mayor or her designee to make written application to the Town for a rental housing unit or dwelling license upon such form or forms as the Town shall, from time to time, designate. All new rentals shall be initiated by application 30 days prior to occupancy, or if already occupied upon the effective date of this chapter, within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter but no later than July 1, 2014. Such application(s) shall be submitted together with the license fee. The initial amount of such fee shall be $50. The amount of such fee may be revised from time to time by written resolution of the Council and shall be printed on the face of the application form.
B. 
A late fee of $2 per day, not to exceed $30 shall be assessed to the applicant for every day that the application or renewal is delinquent.
C. 
Lien on real property. All registration fees and any late fees, when overdue, and any penalties assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be considered a lien in favor of the Town on the applicable property and may be collected and enforced in the same manner as delinquent real property taxes.
A. 
Upon receipt of a completed application for a license with tender of the appropriate license fee for existing or pending housing unit occupancy, the Town shall issue a license, provided that all other requirements of this chapter are met.
B. 
The Town may withhold issuing a rental license should the housing unit be found to not be licensed in compliance with the Prince George's County Housing Code or otherwise not properly conform to any applicable provisions of Town ordinances. A license shall not be considered under any circumstance to be a warranty by the Town as to the safety or operation of any housing unit or any systems and subsystems located therein.
C. 
Should the Town withhold issuing a rental license pursuant to Subsection B, above, then the Town shall notify the applicant in writing, specifying each violation and the relevant Code section deemed to be violated.
D. 
Although the Town does not intend to conduct routine inspections as part of its rental licensing program, the Town may, in its sole discretion, conduct inspections based on a complaint or other probable cause that a violation or unsafe condition exists. Permission for inspections, without the necessity for obtaining any further permission or judicial warrant, is a condition of any license. Failure, upon reasonable notice, to allow entry for such inspection or to require any tenant or occupant to allow entry for such inspection shall constitute sufficient reason for the denial or revocation of the rental license and is a violation of this chapter.
E. 
Failure of an applicant to correct any or all violations within a thirty-day period or the time otherwise allowed in a citation form or warning letter issued by the Town shall result in the application for the license being revoked. No further licenses shall be issued until all violations have been corrected.
A. 
Each license issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire one year from the date of issuance.
B. 
Application for the renewal of an existing license shall be made at least 30 days prior to the expiration date and shall be submitted together with the appropriate license fee. The late fee for applications shall also be applicable to renewals.
C. 
Every applicant whose application for a license has been denied or whose license has been revoked may not reapply for the rental license within 30 days from such denial or revocation.
D. 
When reapplying after a denial, a new application shall be submitted together with all applicable fees.
E. 
No license or registration is transferable to another person, or to another housing unit or premises. Every property owner shall give notice in writing to the Town within 72 hours of the transfer of any legal ownership interest or control of any registered or licensed housing unit. The notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership interest or control of the housing unit.
The license issued under this chapter shall be prominently and publicly displayed on the premises of the structure or produced on demand of the tenant or prospective tenant and shall be available at reasonable times for inspection by the Town's Code Enforcement Officer or such person(s) or firm designated.
A. 
Requirement of local agent. The legal owner of record of any housing unit required by this chapter to obtain a license shall appoint a local agent for each licensed premises. The local agent shall be over the age of 18 and reside in the State of Maryland, and the owner of record may be designated the local agent if a natural person over the age of 18 and a resident of this state.
B. 
Filing of the local agent's name and address. The name and address of the local agent shall be filed in writing during normal business hours with the Town Clerk upon the issuance of any license required herein. The legal owner of record shall notify the Town Clerk in writing of any changes with respect to the local agent within 30 days of such changes.
C. 
Service of complaint for municipal infraction. Notice of a complaint or municipal infraction with respect to premises required to be licensed may be brought by service upon the owner of record of the property or upon the local agent. Service on the owner of the property shall be deemed appropriate if mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner at his or her last known address as provided on the license application. In the event that the certified mail is returned unclaimed for any reason, service may be affected by posting the notice on the front door of the premises. Service may also be affected by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the local agent as designated by the owner personal service on either the local agent or the owner shall also be deemed appropriate service.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, firm, or corporation to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, which are hereby declared by the Council to be municipal infractions, and shall be subject to pay a fine of $500 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues after assessment of the initial fine shall constitute a separate or repeat offense. Payment of the fines without correction of violation(s) does not constitute abatement of the violation(s).
B. 
For purposes of enforcing this chapter, the Town is authorized to exercise all powers available to it under state and local law to prohibit or prevent occupancy of an unlicensed premises subject to licensing under this chapter for which a license has expired or been revoked, including, but not limited to, eviction of the occupants and barring entry by occupants to the unlicensed premises.