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In this Chapter, the following words and phrases have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Basement: That portion of a building located below the first floor joists, at least half of whose clear ceiling height is above the mean level of the adjacent ground.
Cellar: That portion of a building located below the first floor joists, at least half of whose clear ceiling height is below the mean level of the adjacent ground.
Chief Administrative Officer or CAO: The Chief Administrative Officer or the CAO’s designee.
Deadbolt lock: A single cylinder bolt lock which:
(a) operates with a thumb turn from inside and a key from outside the premises, and
(b) automatically engages when fully thrown and lacks a spring to extend or retract the bolt.
Director: The Director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, or the Director’s designee.
Dwelling: Any building which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for residing, lodging, or sleeping by human occupants. Dwelling includes a mobile home or personal living quarters building. Dwelling does not include temporary housing or a fallout or emergency shelter.
Dwelling unit: Any room or group of rooms located in a dwelling which forms a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating. Dwelling unit includes a rooming unit.
(a) the Department of Housing and Community Affairs;
(b) any other agency of County government which the Chief Administrative Officer assigns to enforce this Chapter; or
(c) an applicable municipal agency in any municipality where this Chapter applies.
Exterminate: Control or eliminate insects, rodents, or other vermin by:
(a) eliminating harborage points;
(b) removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as food:
(c) lawful poisoning, spraying, fumigating, or trapping; or
(d) any other method approved by an enforcing agency.
Garbage: All organic waste, consisting of the residue of animal, fruit or vegetable matter, resulting from the preparation, cooking, handling, or storage of food, but not including human or animal feces.
Habitable room: A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating. Habitable room does not include any bathroom, water closet compartment, laundry, pantry, foyer, communicating corridor, closet, recreation room, private workshop or hobby room, storage space, or fallout or emergency shelter.
Habitable space: Any space in a dwelling unit or individual living unit except a bathroom, water closet compartment, laundry, pantry, foyer or communicating corridor, closet, recreation room, private workshop or hobby room, storage space, and fallout or emergency shelter.
Individual living unit: A private living accommodation, located in a person living quarters building, which may contain complete sanitation facilities and equipment for incidental food preparation, such as small portable kitchen appliances, but does not contain complete cooking facilities, such as a stove, oven, or similar device.
Infestation: The presence, in or around a dwelling, of any insect, rodent, or other vermin.
Mobile home: A structure, transportable in one or more sections, which:
(a) is at least 8 body feet wide and 32 body feet long;
(b) is built on a permanent chassis;
(c) is designed to be used as a dwelling, with or without a permanent foundation, when connected to the required utilities;
(d) includes plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems; and
(e) is used for living or sleeping by human occupants for more than 90 days, or more than 30 consecutive days, in any calendar year.
Multiple dwelling: Any dwelling containing 2 or more dwelling units.
Nonresidential structure: Any structure or part of a structure used for purposes other than human habitation, and its premises.
Occupant: Any person, over one year of age, living, sleeping, cooking, or eating in, or having actual possession of, a dwelling unit, rooming unit, or individual living unit.
Owner: Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with any other person:
(a) has legal title to any dwelling or dwelling unit, with or without having actual possession of the unit; or
(b) has charge, care, or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit, as owner or agent of the owner, or as executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian of the estate of the owner.
Personal living quarters building: Any building or portion of a building containing at least 6 individual living units which must have cooking facilities that the residents may share, and which may also have shared sanitation facilities.
Plumbing: The following facilities and equipment: gas pipe, gas-burning equipment, water pipe, garbage disposal unit, waste pipe, water closet, sink, installed dishwasher, lavatory, bathtub, shower bath, installed clothes-washing machine, catch basin, drain, or vent; any similar supplied fixture; and all connections to a water, sewer, or gas line.
Public nuisance: Any dwelling, dwelling unit, or nonresidential structure, or any part of any of them, that is:
(a) a threat or hazard to the health and safety of the community, including any vacant unsecured building, unprotected or abandoned well, open shaft, open basement, excavation, unsafe fence, unsafe stairway, or unsafe step;
(b) unsanitary, littered with rubbish or garbage, used for outdoor storage or abandonment of appliances for more than 48 hours or equipment which poses a threat of injury or danger to life;
(c) severely deteriorated, dilapidated, structurally unsafe, or fire-damaged;
(d) not equipped with properly functioning sanitary sewage and plumbing facilities;
(e) creating a condition that would or could result in substantial damage to another property;
(f) unsafe or unhealthful to any occupant, neighbor, employee, visitor, guest, or tradesman; or
(g) creating a visual blight.
Recreational vehicle: A vehicle or attachment to a vehicle which is primarily designed as temporary living quarters. A recreational vehicle may have its own motive power or be mounted on or towed by another vehicle. Recreational vehicle includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, or motor home.
Rooming house: Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling, which contains one or more rooming units, in which space is let or offered by the owner to 2 or more persons who are not husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, or sister or brother of the owner.
Rooming unit: Any room or group of rooms which forms a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating.
Rubbish: All refuse, combustible or noncombustible, except garbage. Rubbish includes any debris from building construction or reconstruction, dead tree, uprooted tree stump, rubble, street refuse, disabled machinery, bottle, can, waste paper, cardboard, sawdust pile, slash from sawmill operations, or other waste material.
Security measure: A device, action, or precaution, approved by regulation, designed to protect against another person’s entry into a dwelling unit without permission. Security measure includes a key control program, changing cylinder or pin settings between tenancies, and any device such as a deadbolt lock, cane bolt, header and threshold bolt, viewer, window lock or pin, charlie bar, or track lock.
Shelter, fallout or emergency: A structure or part of a structure intended to protect human life from nuclear fallout, enemy action, storm, or a like emergency.
Structure: Something which is built or constructed, including a part of a structure.
Supplied: Paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control of an owner.
Temporary housing: Any tent, recreational vehicle, or similar structure which is used for human shelter for not more than 90 days, nor more than 30 consecutive days, in any calendar year and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
Transient lodging facility: An Establishment defined and licensed under Chapter 54.
Unused vehicle: A motor vehicle or trailer in, on, or by which any person or property may be transported on a public street, that is:
(a) inoperable or, if operable, not currently registered by a government agency which registers vehicles of that type in Maryland, and
(b) not completely enclosed in a garage or other building.
An unused vehicle does not include any farm equipment which is kept on a property of 2 or more acres on which crops are grown and harvested, and which is used to grow and harvest crops.
Ventilation: The process of supplying air to, or removing air from, any space by natural or mechanical means.
Visual blight: Keeping, storing, scattering over, or accumulating any of the following which can be viewed at ground level from a public right-of-way or from neighboring premises:
(a) rubbish, lumber, packing materials, or building materials;
(b) abandoned, discarded or unused object or equipment, including any furniture, appliance, can or container, automobile part or equipment;
(c) abandoned, disabled, dismantled, or unused vehicle or part of a vehicle; or
(d) pile of dirt, mulch, sand, gravel, concrete, or other similar construction materials.
Visual blight also includes any other condition or use of a building or surrounding land which because of its appearance, viewed at ground level from a public right-of-way or from neighboring premises, is likely to reduce the value of nearby property. Visual blight does not include building or construction materials intended to be used for any repair or renovation activity for which a building permit was issued and has not expired, and stored for the time reasonably necessary to promptly complete the work for which the permit was issued.
Workmanlike: Executed in a skilled manner; for example, general plumb, level, square, in line, undamaged, and without marring adjacent work.
The words dwelling, dwelling unit, personal living quarters, rooming house, rooming unit, or transient lodging facility include any part of each and the premises of each. (Mont. Co. Code 1965, § 91-1; 1972 L.M.C., ch. 16, § 13; 1979 L.M.C., ch. 11, § 1; 1980 L.M.C., ch. 29, § 1; 1982 L.M.C., ch. 19, § 1; 1988 L.M.C., ch. 23, § 1; 1989 L.M.C., ch. 43, § 1; 1996 L.M.C., ch. 13, § 1; 1997 L.M.C., ch. 1, § 1; 2002 L.M.C., ch. 15, § 1; 2009 L.M.C., ch. 25, § 1; 2018 L.M.C., ch. 14, §1.)
Editor’s note—Section 26-2, formerly § 26-1, was repealed, reenacted with amendments, and renumbered pursuant to 2002 L.M.C., ch. 15 , § 1.
Editor's note—Former § 26-2, relating to the applicability of this chapter in incorporated municipalities, derived from Mont. Co. Code 1965, § 91-2, was repealed by 1985 L.M.C., ch. 31, § 17. See § 2-96.