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Garrett County Government
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Transient Vacation Rental Units (TVRUs)

TVRU Licensing Contact:

John Groves


TVRU: a building offering complete living facilities for one (1) single-family under one (1) roof provided that a maximum of eight (8) bedrooms and a maximum overnight occupancy of two (2) persons per bedroom plus four (4) additional persons will be permitted on the property and that the living facilities are rented to guests for a 14-day period or less. All living facilities must be incorporated into the principal structure and no living quarters may be installed in accessory buildings.


On March 1, 2006 the Transient Vacation Rental Unit Licensing Ordinance was enacted for the purpose of licensing and regulating the use of residential property rented on a transient, or short-term, basis. The Dept. of Planning & Land Management works in unison with other County departments to apply and enforce the ordinance.


Certain minimum life safety standards must be established and maintained, as set forth by the county for the legal use of a residential property as a TVRU.

Applying for a TVRU Permit

Complete and submit the forms below to our Licensing Technician to begin the process.
*Payment of TVRU licensing fees can only be made via cash or check.

Additional Resources

In the case of concerns regarding TVRUs, please consult the linked document for TVRU Concerns.

Bear-proof Trash

Each TVRU is required to provide a bear-proof trash container of adequate volume. Our office recommends the use of steel containers as they are being used with great effect in the lake area. See a couple examples below:
The below chart may be helpful when selecting the right container(s) for your property.
Number of Bedrooms Container Minimum Capacity in Gallons
1-4 192
5-6 288
7-8 384
*This calcuation is based on the common usage of 96 gallon Toter bins.

Frequenty Asked Questions

Q: What is meant by “a proper egress for each bedroom”? ·
A: A proper bedroom egress is a door or window, which meets a minimum standard and leads directly outside of the structure.
          Q: How are occupancy limits set for TVRUs?
                    A: Per the TVRU Ordinance, maximum occupancy is defined as "two persons per bedroom plus four additional                                persons."
Q: Is the application process different if I want to rent as owner managed?
A: No. The application process is the same for everyone.
Q: What is Accommodation Tax?
A: Accommodation Tax is an 8% room tax levied by the County. Once licensed as a TVRU, the County requires monthly reporting. For more information on Accommodation Tax contact Lori Paugh at
Q: What Health Department requirements are there for a TVRU?
A: Per the TVRU Ordinance, the Health Dept. requires that all hot tubs, pools, and spas be maintained by a Maryland certified operator of hot tubs, pools, and spas. Additionally, an annual well test is required.