Rental Housing Licensing

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The City of Takoma Park requires the licensing of all rental housing. The following is a summary of the general licensing requirements found in Takoma Park Code Chapter 6.08 Rental Housing LicensesCity Code & Charter link icon

Types of Rental Housing Licenses

There are three types of rental housing licenses issued by the City of Takoma Park — annual, biennial, and temporary. The most frequently issued license is the annual license, which is valid for a 12-month period and runs from January 1 through December 31.

License Application

A license application must be completed prior to the issuance of a new rental housing license, the renewal of an existing license or the transfer of an existing license to a new property owner.

Change in Ownership or Rental Status

Landlords are required by law to notify the City within 15 business days of any change in the ownership or management of a rental property. This policy includes changes in mailing addresses and telephone numbers, as well as when the property is no longer available for rent.

License and Transfer Fees

A license fee, based on the number of rental units in the property, must be paid in full prior to the issuance of a required license. The fee is established on an annual basis and cannot be prorated or waived. An additional transfer fee is required when transferring ownership of a rental property.

Landlord Certification

Takoma Park City Code Chapter 6.08.040(B)1 City Code & Charter link icon requires the certification of all owners of rental housing properties - or their registered agents - to be certified by the City prior to the issuance of any rental housing license.

Certification can be obtained in one of two ways:

  1. By attending one of the monthly seminars offered by the City of Takoma Park’s Housing and Community Development Department or
  2. By successfully completing a written exam.

The certification process is designed to provide landlords and their agents with a working knowledge of the laws governing the management, operation, maintenance and sale of rental housing property in Takoma Park.

The certification remains valid for a period of three years and must be renewed before a rental housing license may be issued.

Landlord Certification Seminar

To obtain the required certification, a landlord or their registered agent may elect to attend one of the 90-minute seminars offered on a monthly basis at the Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park. To qualify for certification under this option, the participant must attend the entire seminar. There is no cost to attend the seminar.

Participants are encouraged to preregister for the seminar.

2015 Seminar Schedule

Date Start Time
February 18 9:00 am
April 15 7:00 pm
June 17 9:00 am
August 19 7:00 pm
October 21 9:00 am
December 16 7:00 pm


Certification Examination

Alternatively, landlords and property managers may choose to take a written exam. The exam consists of a series of multiple choice and true/false questions covering a wide range of topics including licensing requirements, property maintenance code, landlord tenant relations ordinance, rent stabilization, the Commission on Landlord Tenant Affairs (COLTA), and the first opportunity to purchase ordinance. 

To obtain the required certification, 90 percent of the questions must be answered correctly. The exam may be taken up to two times during any one month period. Individuals electing to take the written exam are encouraged to also attend one of the monthly seminars offered by the Housing and Community Development Department. 

Copies of the exam are available at the Housing and Community Development Department. The exam is also available for download: 

Lead Poisoning Prevention Compliance

State law and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) external link icon lead poisoning prevention regulations require the registration and/or certification of all rental housing properties built before 1950. All rental properties must be registered with the MDE and a copy of the MDE Certificate of each individual rental unit must be on file with the City before a license will be issued.

Property Inspection

The City Code requires the inspection of all rental units to ensure compliance with the City’s Property Maintenance Code. Inspections are conducted by Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA).  Identified code violations must be corrected before a license will be issued by the City. Failure to correct the identified violation in a timely manner may result in the issuance of a citation, and a fine and/or the revocation or suspension of an existing rental housing license.

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City Code & Charter link icon The online Charter and Code are published on the Code Publishing Company website. The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Takoma Park Municipal Charter and Code. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited on the Code Publishing Company website.