Talbot County, Maryland
About Us >> Departments >> Planning and Zoning >> Short-Term Rental

Short-Term Rental


Talbot County Council Letter, March 26, 2020

Talbot County Emergency Declaration COVID-19 AMENDED 03/31/2020

To lease a home on a short-term basis, all owners of Short-Term Rental (STR) properties in Talbot County are required to obtain a STR license and pay the County Public Accommodations Tax (Chapter 190-63 of the Talbot County Code)*.

New applications are accepted by the Department of Planning and Zoning during the months of January, February, July and August. New license applications are then scheduled for review by the County’s Short-Term Rental Review Board for approval under a public hearing process that requires notification of adjacent and proximate property owners. If approved, the Board may apply conditions to the license to mitigate any potential negative impacts to surrounding properties. The license is valid for one year. 

Subsequent renewals can be issued for a two-year period and requires an STR renewal application. Renewals may generally be processed administratively without review by the Board.

 Please be aware that:

  • A short-term rental license can be issued for the primary or accessory dwelling, but not for both
  • The maximum number of people permitted to be on-site is limited to the lesser of 12 persons or two persons per bedroom in the primary dwelling
  • A minimum three-night stay is required for all short-term lease holders and the maximum stay cannot exceed fourteen weeks
  • A short-term rental cannot be used for weddings, banquets, corporate retreats, fundraisers or other similar activities
  • The owner of the short-term rental property is responsible for payment of the Talbot County Accommodations Tax and the Maryland Sales Tax
  • All applications require an onsite inspection to verify compliance with the County adopted residential building code with respect to emergency escape and rescue openings, exits and smoke alarms; to determine that the plan submitted with the license application is accurate; and to make note of any special conditions
  • All licenses require the property owner or a resident agent with a home or office within thirty (30) miles of the STR to be available to respond when contacted from this location during periods of short-term rental

*For the licensing of an STR located in the towns of Easton, Oxford, St. Michaels, Trappe, and Queen Anne, please contact the applicable jurisdiction for licensing requirements.  

Citizen Complaints

Talbot County Code Enforcement addresses violations of STR regulations. Civil Penalties can be as high as $1,000.00 per day for each violation of Talbot County Code.

When a complaint is received an incident number is created along with the relevant information concerning the complaint. Follow up investigations are completed by Code Enforcement Officers for corrective or enforcement action. During normal working hours any STR violation report should be forwarded directly to Code Enforcement;

Mike Duell, Chief Code Compliance Officer- 410-770-8035, mduell@talbotcountymd.gov

Duane Gottschalk, Code Compliance Officer- 410-770-8044, dgottschalk@talbotcountymd.gov

Code Enforcement Officers may not be available 24/7 and many incidents can be investigated after the fact. STR complaints after normal hours can be reported to the 24/7 STR Hotline, 410-819-2284.

Talbot County Sheriff’s Office should be called if the matter involves a criminal act. They maintain an electronic notification system which electronically forwards call information daily to Code Enforcement for any incident a Sheriff’s Deputy responds to such as a Noise Ordinance violation. The non-emergency number for the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office is 410-822-1020.

Please call 9-1-1 if there is an immediate threat to your health, safety or welfare.


STRs operating without a license are prohibited. Anyone operating or advertising an unlicensed STR on or after six (6) months from November 10, 2018 shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 and shall not be entitled to apply for a STR license for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of such violation.

How to Apply 

You may print your application here.  Once it is completed bring 10 packages to Talbot County Department of Planning and Zoning:  New Short Term Rental Application  and for a Renewal Short Term Rental Application. The fees are:

New License:                                                $300

Renewal License:                                         $250

Health Department New License:            $100 (no fee if served by public sewer)

Health Department Renewal License:     $ 75 (no fee if served by public sewer)

License Inspection Fee:                             $ 40 (If conducted by County. A third party ICC certified building inspector may complete the inspection)

Application Timeline

New applications are accepted by the Department of Planning and Zoning during the months of January, February, July and August.

Renewal applications are due no later than sixty (60) days prior to the date of expiration, or the application will be treated as a new application. A property owner with an existing STR license in effect on November 10, 2018 may apply for a waiver or variance of the STR regulations if unable to meet the license application requirements.

Required Documents

A checklist is provided for new and renewal applications.

Advertising Statement: A statement that describes where and how you will be advertising the STR (print, on-line, video or audio material) that includes an acknowledgement that all advertising must include the STR license number

Standard Lease Agreement and House Rules:

Site and Floor Plan.  Please note that while a site and floor plan does not need to be drawn by a professional, it must be drawn to scale with use of each room appropriately labeled.

Proof of Satisfactory Inspection Report

Copy of current deed to the property

Copy of notification letter and signed Certificate of Service 


For questions related to the STR license, please contact Elisa Deflaux at 410-770-8034 or the main line 410-770-8030.


STR Information Brochure

Page last modified 04/02/20 11:52:54