Rental Licensing Ordinance


Within the City of Frederick, it is estimated that there are more than 10,500 dwelling units currently being rented. Many of these units were built before 1980. Conservation of existing rental housing stock is of tremendous importance, as it provides necessary naturally occurring affordable housing. However, there may be units that violate the City’s Property Maintenance Code or other technical codes. Moreover, the City does not have comprehensive information about the location, ownership, or condition of many units. The lack of information about these units, and the health and safety of the tenants residing in them, is of concern to housing advocates and officials.

Relying on a complaint-based enforcement program may not be adequate to ensure that residential rental units are safely maintained. Tenants may not report complaints due to fears of landlord retaliation and/or fear of government authorities. They may also face language, culture, or education barriers that deter them from using complaint-based programs. Substandard housing conditions are linked to a wide array of significant health problems - especially in children, the disabled, and the elderly. They also threaten the physical, social, and economic stability of surrounding structures, neighborhoods, and the City as a whole. 

It is in the public interest that all residential rental units comply with certain minimum maintenance standards. The most effective way to obtain compliance with such standards is through licensing with periodic inspections of residential rental units.