Rental Licensing

The City of Hagerstown requires that a rental license be obtained when a property is occupied by persons other than the legal owner. The Rental Licensing Program is designed to promote safety, health, and habitability in rental housing and to encourage responsible management and operation of rental facilities and support property values, including those of neighboring properties.

Mandatory Registration


All rental properties in the City of Hagerstown must be registered annually. There are a few exceptions:

    • New construction, within the first four years following the issuance of the Use and Occupancy permit
    • “Owners-plus-one”, which are rental facilities where a portion of the premises is owner-occupied and said premises contain no more than one rental unit.
    • Rental facilities owned and operated by Hagerstown Housing Authority
    • Single unit rental properties occupied by tenants who are related within a certain degree to the owner are exempt from paying the application fee, but still must register. These exempt tenants are: parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, and siblings, whether naturally, step, or in-law.


To register, property owners must submit:

    • A fully completed, signed application, including a supplemental lead paint form.
    • A nonrefundable annual license fee of $75 per rental unit.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to notify Code Administration if any information changes throughout the program year.

Maryland Lead Poisoning Compliance

Before Rental Authorization

Before the City of Hagerstown can authorize a residential property to be rented, the owner of the residential property shall state in writing to the city, under penalty of perjury, the lead paint status of the property. The Maryland Lead Risk Reduction in Housing Law requires inspections be conducted on affected properties.

Affected Properties

An affected property is a residential rental property that was built prior to 1978 for which money or services are collected for rent. A lead paint certification number is issued upon the successful inspection of a rental property, and this number must be supplied to Code Administration as part of rental licensing.


The Maryland Department of the Environment maintains lists of accredited contractors who are authorized to do lead paint inspections. Only accredited inspectors are qualified to provide these inspection services.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Maryland law requires registration, fee payment, and distribution of educational materials in addition to the inspection requirements. You may call (410) 537-4199 or (800) 776-2706 for further information about these topics, or log onto the Maryland Department of the Environment

Exterior Inspections

  • Conducted annually
  • Exterior inspections do not need to be scheduled and the owner does not need to be present. However, you can request to be present by calling 301-739-8577 ext 103.
  • Results of the inspections will be sent via mail unless other arrangements are made.

Sample of Rental Exterior Checklist 

Interior Inspections

  • Required at the first tenant turnover if the unit has not been inspected in the preceding four years.
  • Inspections are good for a minimum of four years. After four years, another inspection is required at the next tenant turnover.
  • The owner/agent is responsible for contacting the office to schedule an inspection at least three business days prior to a new tenant moving in.
  • Water, electricity and gas (if applicable) must be turned on.
  • The unit is to be “move-in ready”. Any renovation/repair work is to be completed.
  • The unit needs to be vacant. A few belongings are acceptable, but they must be moved away from walls to allow for the inspection.

To request an inspection call 301-739-8577 ext. 103 or email your request to Code Administration. Please note that only the property owner or agent can request an inspection.

The following information is required when requesting an inspection:

  • Name of the person/organization requesting the inspection
  • Address of the property to be inspected, including unit number if applicable
  • Entry instructions, including access location, contact telephone number, lock box code, etc.

Sample of Interior Rental Checklist