WASHINGTON — New regulations of short-term property rentals like Airbnb and HomeAway begin Sunday in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Loudoun County, Virginia.
Both counties have new systems for registering and regulating the industry that many use to earn extra money.
In Loudoun County, property owners must fill out a one-time registration form online. Owners in Montgomery County must now apply to license their properties.
Registering in Loudoun County is free, but the license in Montgomery County costs $150 plus fees. The license must be renewed every year. Once a license is issued, property owners in Montgomery County are now required to list the license number on the rental listing itself.
Owners who operate without the proper registration and licensing in both counties face heavy penalties. In Loudoun County, owners will be fined $500 per violation. In addition to fines, Montgomery County owners will face possible restrictions on future rentals if they don’t comply with the new regulations.
Short-term rentals are defined as a unit or room in a single-family home, apartment or condominium that is rented for fewer than 30 consecutive days. While Loudoun County has far fewer regulations, owners in Montgomery County are only allowed to rent out properties for short-term rentals 120 days out of the year if they do not reside in the home. There are no restrictions if they do live in the home and merely rent out a room.
Montgomery County also has restrictions on what types of properties can be rented out. Accessory apartments or farm tenant dwellings are not allowed to be listed as short-term rentals.
However, not everyone in Loudoun and Montgomery counties can rent out properties. Some incorporated sections or towns do not allow short-term rentals at all in Loudoun County.
In Montgomery County, residents are prohibited from listing short-term rentals due to zoning regulations in Chevy Chase Village, Chevy Chase, Chevy Chase View, Gaitherburg, Garrett Park, Kensington, Laytonsville, Poolesville, Rockville, Somerset and Washington Grove.
Montgomery County also has a limit on the number of people who can stay in a short-term rental; six adults are allowed to stay in one listing, and there must be no more than two adults to a room. Both counties have a separate tax for these kinds of rentals.
Registration in Loudoun County is part of phase one of the board’s Short-Term Residential Rental Work Plan. Phase two of the work plan is currently underway, focusing on zoning, land use and public safety issues. The county will also get feedback form residents about how best to regulate the industry.