Registering Property in Baltimore City

28 Replies

So a colleage of mine mentioned I must "register my property" with Baltimore City or else I can be fined $20/day. I looked into this more and came across this website:

Has anyone had any experience with this? It's the first I'm hearing. Why do I need to register a property that the city already knows I own?



Any rental property has to be registered and you will receive your "rental license" for that property.

You'll probably have to get an inspection done as well. Any home inspector can do this for you. It's just a "rental inspection". I know a guy if you need someone.

You'll send in the form, the money, the inspection passed sheet, and also I think forms you sign saying you have carbon monoxide/smoke detectors.

Be sure you read the instructions thoroughly on the form! 

In addition, I do believe that now any rental property must be at a minimum MDE certified "lead safe."

Try to shoot for becoming "lead free." This way you won't have to get retested every year or two. Many times, there's not really a whole lot of lead to get rid of anyway.

@Nicole W 

Alright Nicole, I can't get the @ to work with you - hopefully you'll see this.  is the rental inspection necessary when you first need a cert of occupancy.   My rehab is almost done and will get the occupancy inspection soon, do I then need to do a rental inspection on top of that?

If so, please PM me your contact name/#.  Thanks!!


@Christina R.

 Hi there!!
I'm not familiar with a "cert of occupancy". That sounds to me like a rental inspection. Perhaps this is something the City does specifically? Do you have a link to this info?

Otherwise, I imagine once your property is complete, you call out your rental inspector. He does the inspection. You pass. Then you send that document as well as other stuff to the rental housing office.

@Christina R.

I did a quick Google search for "certification of occupancy Baltimore" and came up with this:

I don't think this applies to you unless it's a newly-constructed building or addition. You're just rehabbing. I'm almost positive you just need to get a rental inspection when the property is ready. You also will need to be either lead safe or lead free. Have you gotten your property inspected for lead yet? If not, it's best to do now while you're rehabbing the property.

I guess I'm just confused.  with the exception of hvac which has it's final tomorrow all the permitted work has passed the final inspection so I wasn't sure if I need to get an occupancy inspection when completely finished before I could rent it out - but it sounds like a rental inspection may be the only thing I need...  

I'm looking at the property registration link and I don't see anything about an inspection unless it's a MFD (multiple family dwelling) which mine is not...

Any Baltimore City folks who know this stage of the game (ready for rental, now what?) - what needs to happen when the work is finished and we're ready to rent?

@Mark Owens

 @Ned Carey

@Tyrus Shivers

@Christina R.

As far as the rental license is concerned for Baltimore County you need to get a rental inspection done. Also you will need to be lead safe or lead free. The paperwork requires the Lead Cert number. You can do the process online, mail, or in person.

for Baltimore City you do not have to have the rental inspection. You simply go to the Baltimore Property Registration Office on Fayette St. with the form filled out and pay. From then on you can pay the renewal online, but if it has never been registered as a rental before you have to go into the office :( I go there often LOL!.

@tyrus has it pretty much summed up. You do not get inspected in Baltimore, the only way you would get inspected is for a "use of occupancy" you would only need to get a UOO cert if the house was registered as a vacant. If that is the case you will have to get it inspected to be able to rent it out. With that said when it comes to inspection everything has to be permitted, that is one thing the inspector will look for.

Of all the laws and requirements in the city, I'm surprised to learn that they don't require a rental inspection! Learn something every day.

Baltimore city requires a rental inspection, Its called a "use and occupancy" permit. Commonly called a "U and O". a "U and O" permits the use and occupancy of the property. getting one of these permits approved with a successful final inspection, permits one to use and occupy a property in the city. you pull the permit in the permit place on Fayette, once pulled, schedule the inspection with quicktrac by phone, then meet the inspector at the property, hopefully get approved, then pick up your completed permit at the same location about a week later. 

Registering a property is a different requirement. An annual registration is required for a 30 dollar fee. You need a lead cert to fill it out.

@Christina R.

In Baltimore city

  • Use and occupancy. needed for a sale as well as rentals. May not be needed if your property never lost it's original one, but given the amount of work you did it may be required. It is an easy inspection. 
  • Rental registration for baltimore city. Needed for any non owner occupied property- rented or not.   Direct link to form
  • Lead registration. A MD state requirement.
  • Lead inspection- in addition to the lead registration
  • Section 8 inspections annually if you have sec 8 tenants

Go to 1st floor 417 E Fayette for the first two and MDE for the lead info.

@Ned Carey

I've been MIA on BP for the last 6 months getting through this first rental/rehab but....


I took your (and Account Closed's) advice and got the U and O inspection though technically my property (by some obvious omission) didn't have a vacant notice.  The inspector practically gave me a heart attack on the phone when he was calling to give me the inspection time window but long story short,  it needed a tweak but within a few days it passed and I picked up the cert last Friday afternoon. 

So now... what else do you have out there???

Hi. I'm planning to have an O and U inspection on a property in Baltimore city. Just wondering what does the inspection entail? Does the house have to have appliances? What is the inspector looking for? Any details would be helpful. I'm always nervous when I hear "inspection". Thanks!

@Marie London

      Hi Marie. I just finished up one. It can be a difficult task to pass. First off, depending on how much work you did in the house, they are going to check to see if you have all your permits and that they are up to date. If not then you have to have all the work reinspected by various inspectors. Assuming the permits are fine and the work was done properly you need to have a final inspection before you call in for the use and occupancy inspection. Assuming the final goes well the U and O inspector comes in. He will review all the work done and look for other problems, railings, stair treads, cement work, etc. It is a pain in the neck. Hope that helps.

    Rich Baer, Esq.

@Rich Baer  Thanks for the response! I have the gas permit and I'm working on the duct permit. Hopefully that's all I need to pass the O and U. There's so much red tape in Baltimore! Someone stole the gas meter and I have to wait a month for BGE to inspect and reinstall a meter. 1 month for a BGE inspector! It's unbelievable. Thanks again for sharing your experience. 


      Glad to help. Look me up if you need any other counsel. Baltimore. What a place. If it wasn't for the potential real estate returns, it would be no man's land for investors.

Does anyone know the exact Smoke and CO2 detector laws for an old 3-unit multi-family in Baltimore City? I want to be prepared for the O&U inspection, but I can not find this code listed anywhere, and when I call the Government I get different answers depending on who I talk to, such as: 1) Need hardwired interconnected system, but the detectors in the units can be battery operated. 2) Need hardwired detectors in each bedroom and common areas, but they do not need to be interconnected.

carbon/smoke on each floor, smoke in every bedroom......not sure if multi units are different. interconnected may be different with multi units.

@tyrus shivers 

@ned carey

Help please - i need to register my properties  (not the MDE reg) and i do not know how to obatin the reg number. We severed ties with our PM and getting info from them is very difficult. They took care of this reg in previous years. Anyone know who i can call to get the numbers i need to register on line? 

I do not know of a way to get the number online. You can get the forms to register via the mail, at Or you can go downtown to 417 E Fayette St and go to the permit office on the first floor.