Two New County Laws Go Into Effect on Sunday

Owners of short-term rentals through services such as airbnb will be required to register and license the properties. Graphic from Wikimedia Commons

Two significant pieces of legislation will take effect in Montgomery County on Sunday, July 1.

One will require owners of short-term residential rentals to register and license their rental properties.

The second will raise the county’s minimum wage, based on the size of the employer.

The County Council adopted a zoning text amendment and legislation to define short-term residential rentals and establish licensing regulations in October 2017.

An STR is defined as “a unit/room in a single-family home, apartment or condominium that is available for a fee for less than 30 consecutive days through online sites such as Airbnb, Craigslist, FlipKey and HomeAway,” according to a press release

The annual license fee is $150, plus applicable processing fees, and the owner must also pay the room rental and transient tax.

The county is using a software partner to scan STR rental sites for current and new properties listed and will notify owners of the requirements. Property owners who are notified are still required to apply for a license. Failure to do so could lead to owners being charged with additional fees or penalties, and possible restrictions on future rentals.

The new minimum wage law requires county businesses with 51 or more employees to pay workers at least $12.25 per hour. Employers with 50 or fewer workers will be required to pay employees $12 hourly. 

“The minimum wage does not apply to employees younger than the age of 19 who work fewer than 20 hours per week. However, an employer may pay a wage equal to 85 percent to employees under the age of 20 for the first six months that the employee is employed,” according to a press release.

In addition, any employer that provides home health services, or home or community-based services, can apply to the Office of Human Rights for designation as an “eligible services provider” subject to an adjusted implementation schedule, under certain circumstances.

Under the law, which was passed in November of last year, the minimum wage will continue to increase each July 1 until 2022.

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