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A Proposal to Legalize Airbnb in Montgomery County

by Lark Turner

A Proposal to Legalize Airbnb in Montgomery County: Figure 1

Airbnb may soon be legal in Bethesda, if a Montgomery County councilmember has his way.

Some Montgomery County residents may be surprised that Airbnb isn’t legal currently; after all, a quick search of the site reveals plenty of properties for rent in the county. But apparently any rentals of 30 days or less became illegal in Montgomery County at the end of October when the Council passed a new zoning code seven years in the making, according to Bethesda Now.

The 30-day duration requirement is outdated and wasn’t intended to outlaw Airbnb in the county, County Councilmember Hans Riemer suggested to the publication. Riemer noticed the new language in the updated zoning code and recently proposed a rewrite that would get rid of the minimum duration requirement, so one-night stays would be permissible.

While Riemer’s amendment would allow for short-term rentals, it would require all rentals to be licensed. From a memorandum on the proposed amendment:

Anyone renting their residence or a dwelling that they own, or space in their residence or dwelling, must have a license issued under County Code Chapter 54, Transient Lodging Facilities, or Chapter 29, Landlord-Tenant Relations. Airbnb renters, would typically fit the definition of “transient visitors” in Section 54-1, so licensing for Airbnb rentals would most likely be under Section 54-14. Chapter 54 imposes several requirements on licensed establishments, which would apply to Airbnb-rented properties.

The council will open up Riemer’s amendment to public comment in late February.

See other articles related to: montgomery county, bethesda, airbnb

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/bethesda_gets_closer_to_legalizing_airbnb/9405

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