New Baltimore Law Requires Rental Housing Inspections

Under Bill  18-0185 that has recently been enacted by the Baltimore City Council, landlords of all non-owner occupied residences will be required to register their properties and obtain rental licenses. Prior to receiving a license, properties must be professionally checked by home inspectors licensed by the State of Maryland and registered with the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development. The intent of the new law is to improve housing conditions in Baltimore’s low-income neighborhoods.

Change in Property Registration Timeline

home inspection training

Before the law came into effect August 1, 2018, owners of residential dwellings were required to register their properties with Baltimore’s Department of Housing and Community Development by September 1. This included rental properties, vacant buildings and second homes, although single and two-family homes were exempted. Under the new law, annual registrations, which now also apply to single and dual family residences, are due on or before January 1.

The law gave landlords just five months to retain a state-licensed home inspector to determine whether their properties are compliant. That’s a timeframe that has many rental property owners worried. As a result, business is booming for the area’s 225 home inspectors licensed by the State of Maryland. Costs to inspect the properties are expected to be between $50 to $150 per unit.

Checking Off Property Inspection

Properties with ten or more units are required to have only a portion of the units inspected. Since single family and duplex rentals are where most health and safety code violations occur, they must pass a 20-point inspection performed by a licensed home inspector no more than 30 days prior to the landlord’s applying for a rental license from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Multifamily dwelling inspections must be completed within 90 days or less of submitting a license application.

Rewards for Timely Behavior

All rental licenses will initially be issued for terms of two years. Under the new law, however, there’s a tiered renewal system after the first two years that rewards those property owners who respond promptly. Owners who cure all violation orders or notices issued by the City within 60 days of being cited during the previous two years will be given a three-year renewal license. Property owners who abate notices or orders within 90 days will receive two-year renewals. Those owners who don’t cure violations within 90 days will be issued one-year rental license renewals. The new law also gives Baltimore’s Housing Commissioner the authority to deny, suspend or revoke the rental license of any property owner who fails to fix a violation within 120 days of a notice having been issued.

County Council Bill 26-18 Boosts Need for Home Inspections

Bill 26-18 which was enacted in May 2018, required another 2,500 rental units across Baltimore County to register for inspection. These additional properties would need a state-licensed inspector to verify that the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms within each unit are working properly, the unit is adequately ventilated and the electrical and plumbing systems are in good and safe working order. Owners of the additional units were given until September 1 to register their properties. Violations or noncompliance could potentially cost them up to $1,000 per day.

If you live in Baltimore or are thinking about moving to the area, consider becoming a licensed home inspector. The outlook appears bright for home inspectors who are properly trained and licensed by the State of Maryland. The easiest, most efficient and affordable means of becoming a certified home inspector and receiving your Maryland Home Inspection License is through Inspection Certification Associates.

Learn More About Maryland Home Inspection Licensing via Inspection Certification Associates

The State of Maryland defines a home inspector as someone who is paid to provide home inspection services that require a license issued by the State. Maryland defines a home inspection as a written assessment of one or more of the following components of an existing residential building:

  • Heating or cooling system
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Structural components
  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Masonry
  • Any other interior or exterior component of residential housing

In addition to passing the National Home Inspector exam, Maryland requires that before being issued a license, applicants must complete 72 hours of on-site classroom training approved by the State. Inspection Certification Associates received official approval from Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in June 2018 (click here to see our official approval letter from the State of Maryland). ICA is also an American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Gold Affiliate.

Our 8-day home inspection classroom training completely fulfills Maryland’s 72-hour requirement. ICA classes are offered in both Rockville and Baltimore. You can find a convenient training date via our schedule of future training classes. There’s no time limit for completing the instruction, so if you have a scheduling conflict, training can be divided between two or more sessions.

After completing ICA’s Maryland Home Inspection Training, you’ll be completely prepared to pass the National Home Inspectors exam. The exam is based on ASHI Standards of Practice, which is fully covered during our training. A 200-page study guide with more than 700 practice questions is included in your tuition. Also included is lifetime access to ICA’s Maryland Home Inspection Course, along with these additional free products and services:

  • Our online home inspection refresher training. ICA materials are updated continually, so you’ll always be up to date on the latest home inspection standards and techniques.
  • Lifetime access to ICA’s downloadable reference library
  • Online mold and radon inspection training and certification, for which most training schools charge extra
  • Home Inspection Report Software, including Report Form Pro 2, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. This is a $400 value if purchased separately, but it’s free to ICA students.
  • One-year ASHI associate membership
  • Full support for students and graduates both during and after training—even if you’re in the field conducting an inspection, we’ll help you via email, text or telephone.
  • And more!

Whether you plan to work in Baltimore, Rockville, Silver Spring or anywhere else in Maryland, Inspection Certification Associates’ classroom training will fulfill the state’s home inspection license training requirements.

What are you waiting for? Enroll online or call us at 888-374-4096 today and you’ll be on your way to a new and rewarding career as a licensed Maryland home inspector!



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