Balto. Co. due tougher boarding house rules

April 07, 2009|By MARY GAIL HARE

On Monday, the Baltimore County Council unanimously enacted stronger zoning regulations governing rooming and boarding houses in an effort to deter irresponsible landlords from crowding rental homes with tenants.

The law, which takes effect in 45 days, eliminates a loophole that allowed absentee landlords to circumvent zoning and create limited-liability corporations that gave tenants a small share of ownership. Rules limiting the number of unrelated tenants in a house to two do not apply to owners. The practice has become a problem in neighborhoods near college campuses.

The measure also requires renters, who claim exemption from occupancy limits because they are members of the same family, to furnish information about their relationships. And it defines the difference between a resident and a guest, to keep visitors from taking up long-term residency.

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