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The owner of each dwelling or dwelling unit must assure compliance with the following standards during human habitation:
(a) Natural light. Each habitable room must contain windows, skylights, shutters, monitors, glazed doors, transoms, glass block panels, or other light transmitting media open to the sky or to a public street, yard or court which comply with the requirements for lighting in Chapter 8.
(1) When windows and exterior doors are used to provide natural light and ventilation, their aggregate glass area must be at least 8 percent of the floor area of each habitable room.
(2) If walls or other portions of structures face a window of any habitable room and are located less than 3 feet from the window and extend above the ceiling of the room, the window must not be included in the required minimum total window area.
(3) If the only window in a room is a skylight in the ceiling, the minimum aggregate glass area of the skylight must be at least 15 percent of the floor area of the room.
(4) Alternate arrangements of windows, doors or other methods that will provide the equivalent minimum light performance as prescribed in Chapter 8 may be used, but every individual living unit must have at least one window which aggregate glass area greater than 4 percent of the floor area of all rooms in the individual living unit.
(b) Artificial light. Each common hallway and stairway in a multiple dwelling and personal living quarters building must be adequately lighted with lighting facilities sufficient to provide at least 3 foot-candles of light at the floor or stair tread level at all times. Each common hallway and stairway in a structure devoted solely to dwelling occupancy and containing not more than 4 dwelling units may be supplied with conveniently located light switches controlling an adequate lighting system which may be turned on when needed, instead of full-time lighting.
(c) Ventilation. Each habitable room must provide adequate ventilation that meets the minimum standards prescribed in Chapter 8.
(1) When ventilation is provided by windows and exterior doors, the total of the openable window or door area in each habitable room must be at least 45 percent of the minimum aggregate glass area of the window or skylight as required in subsection (a) or 4 percent of the floor area of every habitable room.
(2) Every window or opening to outdoor space, used or intended to be used for ventilation, must be supplied with screens or other method of insect control approved by the Director.
(3) Every window used or intended to be used for ventilation, and every other opening in any dwelling which might provide an entry for rodents, must be supplied with a screen or other device which effectively prevents their entrance.
(d) Light and ventilation for bathrooms. Each bathroom and water closet compartment must comply with the light and ventilation requirements in Chapter 34 or applicable plumbing regulations of the Washington Suburban Sanitary District.
(e) Space and water heating. Each dwelling or dwelling unit, personal living quarters building, and transient lodging facility must be supplied with space and water heating facilities which are properly installed and are maintained in safe and good working condition. Either central or space heating may be used, but each must meet the following requirements:
(1) Central heating. Each central heating unit or central hot water heating unit must:
(A) have each heat duct, steam pipe, or hot water pipe free of leaks and functioning properly to provide a sufficient amount of heat and hot water to the intended place of delivery;
(B) be equipped with seals between sections of hot air furnaces to prevent the escape of toxic gases into heat ducts;
(C) if the unit uses electricity, be connected to an electric circuit of sufficient capacity in an approved manner; and
(D) be provided with automatic safety devices which are installed and operated as required by applicable County regulations.
(2) Space heating; hot water. Each space heating or hot water unit must:
(A) not use gasoline as a fuel;
(B) not be manufactured or designed to be portable if the unit uses solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel;
(C) if the unit uses a flame, be connected to a flue or vent as required by applicable County regulations;
(D) if the unit uses gaseous fuel, be connected with a non-flexible metal tubing;
(E) if the unit uses solid or liquid fuels, have a fire resistant panel beneath it;
(F) be located at least 2 feet away from any wall, or be equipped with insulation sufficient to prevent the overheating of any wall as prescribed by applicable standards of the American National Standards Association or the National Fire Protection Association;
(G) if the unit uses electricity, be connected to an electric circuit of sufficient capacity in an approved manner; and
(H) be installed and operated as required by applicable County regulations.
(3) Temperature control - space heating.
(A) Each owner of a dwelling unit or individual living unit where the heat is not under the control of the tenant must maintain a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit in each habitable room, bathroom, and water closet compartment at a distance of 3 feet above floor level.
(B) Each owner of a dwelling unit or individual living unit where the heat is under the control of the tenant must provide in working condition heating equipment capable of maintaining a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit in each habitable room, bathroom, and water closet compartment at a distance of 3 feet above floor level.
(C) If the thermostat or other mechanism governing the heat in more than one dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling or individual living unit in a personal living quarters building is located in a dwelling unit or individual living unit where the occupant of that unit controls the heat delivery to other dwelling units or individual living units, the owner must provide each tenant with an emergency phone number to directly contact a person who has 24-hour access to adjust the heat and who will adjust the heat within 2 hours.
(4) Temperature control - hot water. Water-heating facilities necessary to provide hot water required by this Chapter must be capable of heating water to a temperature that permits a sufficient amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower at a temperature of not less than 120 degrees or more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The supplied water-heating facilities must be capable of meeting applicable water heat requirements when heating facilities required under this Chapter are not operating.
(f) Temperature control – air conditioning in rental housing.
(1) For purposes of this subsection, rental housing has the meaning stated in Section 29-1, except that rental housing does not include:
(A) a detached single-family home; or
(B) a dwelling unit located on a site listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), between June 1 and September 30:
(A) Each owner of rental housing where cooling is not under the control of the tenant must maintain a temperature of no more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (80° F.) in each habitable space at a distance of 3 feet above floor level; and
(B) Each owner of rental housing where the cooling is under the control of the tenant must provide an air conditioning system capable of maintaining a temperature of no more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (80° F.) in each habitable space at a distance of 3 feet above floor level.
(3) A landlord may apply for, and the Director may grant, an extension of up to six months to comply with the requirements of this Section if the Director finds that:
(A) the landlord must make electrical upgrades to the rental housing to comply with the requirements; and
(B) making the upgrades would cause financial hardship to the landlord.
Editor’s note—2020 L.M.C., ch. 4 , §§2, 3, and 4 state: Sec. 2. Transition. For 12 months following the effective date of this Act, a landlord may request, and the Director may grant, delayed implementation of the requirements of this Act for any real property that is the subject of a pending application for a necessary approval for development before the Planning Board, Board of Appeals, or Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings. The period of delayed implementation for a property may not exceed the sooner of the completion of the development or 24 months.
Sec. 3. Impairment of Leases. This Act must not be construed to invalidate or impair a lease in effect on the effective date of the Act.
Sec. 4. Financing. The Executive must, subject to appropriation and applicable law, explore options to offer low-interest financing to landlords who need to upgrade their electrical systems to comply with the requirements of this Act.
Former § 26-5, “Minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities,” which was derived from Mont. Co. Code 1965, § 91-5; 1972 L.M.C., ch. 12, § 1; 1979 L.M.C., ch. 11, § 2; 1988 L.M.C., ch. 23, § 1; 1997 L.M.C., ch. 1, § 1; former § 26-6, “Minimum standards for light, ventilation and heating,” which was derived from Mont. Co. Code 1965, § 91-6; 1972 L.M.C., ch. 12, § 2; 1972 L.M.C., ch. 16, § 13; 1979 L.M.C., ch. 11, § 3; 1980 L.M.C., ch. 23, § 1; 1997 L.M.C., ch. 1, § 1; and former § 26-7, “Temperature control,” which was derived from 1972 L.M.C., ch. 12, § 3; 1973 L.M.C., ch. 27, § 1; 1988 L.M.C., ch. 23, § 1; and 1997 L.M.C., ch. 1, § 1, were repealed, reenacted with amendments, renumbered §§ 26-6 and 26-7, and retitled pursuant to 2002 L.M.C., ch. 15 , § 1.