OC Council Tweaks Resident Agent Rules

OCEAN CITY – The City Code was amended this week allowing resident agents of rental properties to reside within 30 miles of Ocean City as long as they are in the state.

The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to resident agent requirements within a section of the code on first reading at Tuesday’s meeting.

Under required information to be issued a rental license, the ordinance will now read, “Name, address and telephone number of a resident agent, who must reside in the State of Maryland within 30 miles of Ocean City (if there is no owner who maintains a permanent residence in Ocean City). If a resident agent is required but is not provided, any notices provided for hereunder shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk of Ocean City, with a copy thereof mailed (certified mail, return receipt) to the last known address of the property owner.”

The amendment came about when Ocean City License Inspector Michael Sherman said had been confronted with an issue that the code requiring resident agents to live within the corporate limits of Ocean City could be detrimental to real estate companies operating outside of Ocean City but have property within the city limits, such as those as close as Berlin who can respond to issues at the property in a timely fashion.

Sherman suggested changing the code from requiring the resident agent to reside within city limits to reside within 30 miles of Ocean City.

According to City Solicitor Guy Ayres the language would not work because the Maryland-Delaware line is within 30 miles of Ocean City and that would conflict with having resident agents residing in a different state. He then recommended having a resident agent reside within Worcester County or 30 miles from Ocean City in the State of Maryland.