Food and Facilities Licensing

Short-Term Residential Rentals

On October 10, 2017, the Montgomery County Council adopted zoning text amendment (ZTA) 16-03 and Bill 2-16 to define short-term residential rentals and to establish standards and licensing regulations.  The law  became effective July 1, 2018.  For a full copy of the legislation, click HERE . Click HERE for a copy of the Zoning Text Amendment.

Property owners currently advertising short-term residential rentals will be notified about the process for bringing the property into compliance with the new law.  If you operate a short-term residential rental property and you do not receive a letter, you are still required to apply for a license and meet licensing requirements.

Failure to comply with the short-term rental licensing requirements may result in additional fees, penalties and possible restrictions on the short-term residential rental property.

What is a short-term residential rental?

A short term residential rental is unit/room in a single family home, apartment or condominium that is available for rent for less than 30 consecutive days through online sites such as Airbnb, Flipkey, Home Away and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner).  The dwelling unit used as a short-term residential rental must be the property owner's or owner authorized resident's primary residence.

When is a short term residential rental license required?

A short-term residential rental license must be obtained prior to operating in Montgomery County.  Zoning regulations prohibit short-term residential rentals in the following municipalities: Chevy Chase Village, Town of Chevy Chase, Town of Chevy Chase View, Chevy Chase Section 3, City of Gaithersburg, Town of Garrett Park, Town of Kensington, Town of Laytonsville, Town of Poolesville, City of Rockville, Town of Somerset, and Town of Washington Grove.

Who must apply for a short-term residential rental license?

Montgomery County property owners  who are renting out their homes (or a room within the home) for less than 30 consecutive days.  Property owners cannot rent out accessory apartments or farm tenant dwellings as short -term rentals. 

What  is the maximum number of guests that I can rent to at one time?

The maximum number of adults 18 years and older per short-term residential rental is six and the maximum number of adults per bedroom is two.

What  is the maximum number of rentals allowed per calendar year?

When the owner or authorized resident is absent, the maximum rental days per calendar year is limited to 120. There is no limit if the owner or authorized resident is present.

Are there parking requirements?

Each rental contract requires one off-street parking space unless the online listing indicates that vehicle parking is prohibited.

How does one obtain a short-term residential rental license?

 Prior to completing your application, you must notify all adjoining property owners of your intent to apply for a short term residential rental license.  It is highly recommended that you notify your adjoining neighbors in writing by United States Postal Service certified mail and retain proof of this notification.  A sample template letter is provided for you to use for this purpose.
The application will require you to certify that you have notified all the following parties:

  1. In a single-unit or attached unit, abutting and confronting neighbors;
  2. In a multi-unit building, neighbors living across the hall and those that share a ceiling, floor, and walls with the applicant’s unit; 
  3. The municipality in which the residence is located;
  4.  Any applicable homeowner’s association, condominium, housing cooperative; and
  5.  The owner of the unit or the owner’s rental agent, if the applicant is not the owner;

Licenses are issued for one year. To renew your license, submit a new application.The property must have paid all relevant taxes and comply with zoning restrictions and must keep a record of the guests who stay there.  Licenses are issued for one year and require an application to be renewed.  Once a license is issued, property owners are required to post their license number on Airbnb or other short-term rental websites along with their listing to rent their home or a room in their home.

Property owners who rent their property, or part of their property, for short-term lodging must also pay the County’s Room Rental-Transient Tax, through the Department of Finance, Division of Treasury, a requirement that went into effect July 1, 2017.   For more information about the Room Rental-Transient Tax, visit and click on the links under “Room Rental – Transient” for more information, or call  311 (240-777-0311 if you are calling from outside of Montgomery County).

To apply for a license, go to

License Renewals


The annual license fee is $150 plus applicable processing fees.


  • Submit an application online at
     If an application is complete and payment is submitted, the application is typically approved within one to two business days.
  • No licenses or notification is sent.  The applicant will receive an email payment confirmation and this serves as proof of licensure.
  • If there is a problem with the application or if the application is denied, the applicant will receive notification by mail.
  • You will receive a unique license identification number.
  • The license number must be included on any website where property is advertised.
  • Property owners will be notified 60 days prior to the expiration of the current license.

Licensure & Regulatory Services staff are available to discuss questions during regular working hours (Monday through Friday) 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 240-777-3986.

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