Article II. Housing License

§ 14-14. Housing License.

It shall be unlawful for any person to let for occupancy or allow the occupancy of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or part thereof, whether for use on a nightly, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, within the Town of Easton without having first obtained a license for said unit as hereinafter provided.

§ 14-14.1 Special Provisions for Immediate Family Member:

When a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or part thereof is occupied by an immediate family member of the owner or the owner’s spouse (parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, sibling, aunt, uncle, or first cousins. Includes: adopted, half, and step family members), a rental license shall not be required. The Code Official shall determine the appropriate information required in order to determine compliance with this section.

§ 14-14.2 Exceptions:

The requirement for a license shall not apply to the following uses as those uses are defined in the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, which is Chapter 28 of the Town Code: Assisted Living Facilities, Bed and Breakfast Inns, Homeless Shelters, Hospice facilities, Hotels, Motels, Nursing Homes, Overnight Care Facilities, Patient Hostels, and similar uses.

§ 14-14.3 Exception for Owner Occupied:

The requirement for a license shall not apply to occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit occupied solely by the owner as the owner’s primary residence or as a secondary/vacation home, including invitees and guests during the owner’s occupancy, provided that there is no tenancy, soliciting or advertising for the purpose of Short Term Housing.

(Ordinance 523 effective 3/28/2008, Ordinance 536 effective 10/14/2008 Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016, historical reference 301, 518)

§ 14-15. License Application.

The legal owner of record shall make written application to the Town of Easton for a rental unit license upon such form or forms as the Town shall from time to time designate. Such application shall be submitted together with a non-refundable rental license fee. Upon receipt of a completed application for a license, the Code Enforcement Office is authorized to examine or cause to be examined buildings, structures and sites for which an application has been filed. A rental license application may be denied by the Code Enforcement Office if the premises, dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit, thereof is not in conformance with the Minimum Property Maintenance Standards or the Building Code under which the structure was constructed. (Ordinance 523 effective 3/28/2008 and Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008, historical reference 301, 518)

§14-16.Rental Housing License.

The Code Enforcement Office upon review and approval of an application, shall issue a non-transferable "Rental Housing License" indicating that a license has been duly issued for the premises, dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit, accompanied by a Certificate of Occupancy which shall expire at the same time as the license. A certificate of occupancy shall contain the following: (Ordinance523effective3/28/2008and Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008, historical reference 301, 518)

  1. The rental housing license number.
  2. The name and address of the owner.
  3. The number of rental units licensed.
  4. The address of the structure.
  5. The edition of the International Property Maintenance Code governing inspections.
  6. The use and occupancy classification, as available.
  7. The type of construction, as available.
  8. The maximum occupant load, as available.
  9. The presence of an automatic sprinkler system.
  10. Any special stipulations and conditions.
  11. The name of the building official.
  12. The expiration date.

§ 14-17. Dwelling.

Dwelling Unit and Rooming Unit Inspection. All Rental Housing Licenses shall be subject to periodic inspection by the Code Enforcement Office, to determine if they are in conformance with the Minimum Property Maintenance Standards or the Building Code under which the structure was constructed. Permission for such inspections, without the necessity for obtaining any further permission or judicial warrant, is a condition of any license. Each unit shall be inspected at least one time during the license period or as the Code Enforcement Office deems necessary. Failure to allow entry for an inspection or to forbid entry for such inspection shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this article.

Exception: The Code Enforcement Office may elect to utilize a statically valid random sample for multi-unit properties with more than thirty (30) units which have full time management on site as long as the sampling is designed with a 95% probability that significant violations, as defined by the Code Enforcement Office, would be detected if present. When the statistically valid random sample for multi-unit properties with more than thirty (30) units is elected by the Code Enforcement Office and significant violations, as defined by the Code Enforcement Office, are detected, the Code Enforcement Office is authorized to perform any additional inspections deemed necessary by that department.

(Ordinance 523 effective 3/28/2008 and Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008, historical reference 301, 518)

§ 14-18. Rental Housing License – Administration.

All rental housing licenses are regulated by the License Administration under Article I of Chapter 14 and Article 1 of Chapter 11. (Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008, historical reference 301, 518)

§ 14-18.1 Rental Housing Re-inspection.

The Code Enforcement Office shall re-inspect the premises on the last day of the time period to confirm that the violations have been corrected. Noncompliance shall result in additional re-inspections fees, penalties and or revocation of license. (Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008, historical reference 301, 518)

§ 14-19. Additional provisions for Short Term Housing.

All occupancies made for a period of less than four (4) months shall be subject to the following additional provisions:

§ 14-19.1 Principal Residence.

The structure in which the Short Term housing takes place shall be the principal residence of the owner of the property, or an outbuilding located on the same property provided said outbuilding satisfies all Building, Fire, and Safety Codes and Regulations for use in this manner. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.1.1 Contact Information.

The owner shall provide personal contact information (name, address, telephone number and e-mail address) to be contacted 24 hours a day for any complaints or problems. If the owner of the property does not remain in Talbot County during the rental period, the owner must provide contact information for an agent that can be contacted 24 hours a day regarding any problems or issues. The named agent must have a principal residence within Talbot County. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.1.2 Contact Information

Availability. Upon request by any neighbor or other person who may be affected by the short-term housing, the Code Enforcement Office may provide the property owner’s and/or agent’s name and contact information. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.1.3 Notification.

In addition to providing the information to the Town of Easton, the owner shall provide the contact information to all properties within 400 feet of the owner’s property by certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail on at least an annual basis. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.1.4 Notification Information.

The property owner or agent shall provide proof of the notifications to the Code Enforcement Office with their housing license application. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.2 One Occupancy.

Multiple occupancies of the same property at the same time shall be prohibited. Only one lease of the property shall be permitted at any one time. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.3 No Commercial Food Sales.

There shall be no commercial food sales or preparation. Meals provided by the owner for guests shall be limited to continental breakfast items. Nothing herein shall limit the guests’ ability to prepare their own food on the property. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.4 Insurance.

The property owner shall maintain property and liability insurance with an insurer who is aware of the owner’s short term housing exposure and that will respond in the event of a covered loss with liability limits of at least Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) and shall provide proof of said insurance at the time of application for a license. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-19.5 Accommodations Tax.

Short Term Housing shall be required to pay all applicable Accommodations Taxes. (Ordinance 680 effective 9/27/2016)

§ 14-20. Rental Housing License - Administrative History

Ordinance Number 309, passed by the Town of Easton Council on 4/17/1995, establishing a Rental Housing Licensing and Inspection Program.

Ordinance Number 444, passed by the Town of Easton Council on 5/20/2002, amending Section 13A-5 License Renewal.

Ordinance Number 518, no action taken, Updating Rental Housing Licensing

Ordinance Number 523, passed by the Town of Easton Council on 4/7/2008, updating the Rental Housing Licensing and Inspection Program.

(Ordinance 536 effective 10-14-2008)