Housing and Property Maintenance

Property Standards

Residents value communities that are clean, safe and well maintained. The Bowie Housing and Property Maintenance Code provides guidelines to ensure that Bowie achieves these goals. The Code is composed of regulations regarding lawn and exterior property maintenance, buildings and structures, and interior housing standards. To learn more about these regulations, please view Chapter 5, Chapter 10 and Chapter 15 of the Bowie City Code.

Lawn and Exterior Property Maintenance

  • Grass and weeds may not exceed 8 inches in height. 
  • Dead trees and shrubs are to be removed unless within a forested area. 
  • Bushes and shrubs are to be trimmed to prevent them from growing over the sidewalk, curb, or rubbing against roof shingles. 
  • Trash, litter and debris are to be removed and the property must not be unsightly or having a blighting effect on nearby properties.
  • Open storage of car and truck parts and equipment, household appliances, building materials, inoperative vehicles, furniture, rubbish, refuse and other similar items is prohibited.
  • Fire wood is to be stored evenly and neatly stacked on a platform 6 inches above a concrete, asphalt, brick or block surface or 18 inches above an unimproved ground surface.
  • Water in pools, hot tubs, fish ponds or other items are not allowed to become stagnant or a breeding ground for insects. 

Exterior Surfaces, Structures or Buildings

  • All exterior surfaces, accessory and appurtenant structures and buildings must be maintained and repaired in a reasonably skillful manner. They are to be structurally safe and sound, in good repair, free from rust or corrosion, peeling paint, graffiti, be weather resistant and kept in a condition to exclude rodents. All exterior surfaces are to be covered by materials customarily used for exterior surfaces. 
  • House numbers must be 4 inches in height or more (not spelled out), on a contrasting background and be visible from the street.
  • Guttering systems and downspouts must be in good condition, properly connected, secured to the building and free of plant growth or any obstruction.
  • Windows and doors are to be maintained in good condition, fit reasonably tight within the frame, having proper closing and locking mechanisms.
  • Roofs are to be structurally sound, tight and have no defects.
  • Exterior shutters are to be erected and maintained in pairs.
  • Exit doors shall be accessible and easily opened from the inside without a key.
  • Outdoor storage tents are prohibited.

Building Standards

The Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) is tasked with enforcing the Maryland Building Performance Standards within the City. These building standards include the International Building Code, International Residential Code for One and Two-Family Dwellings, International Energy Conservation Code, and the International Green Construction Code. Please contact DPIE at 301-636-2000 for more information. 

Housing and Interior Structures and Maintenance

Any owner occupied or rental dwelling must be:
  • Reasonably free from dampness
  • Maintained in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Kept free of rodent and insect infestation
  • Structurally safe and sound
Any owner occupied or rental dwelling must:
  • Contain a room with a bathtub or shower. 
  • The interior doors, windows, handrails, stairs and other structural components must be maintained in good order and in sound condition.
  • The interior walls, floors and ceilings shall be clean and sanitary, free of holes, cracks and flaking paint. 
  • Provide cooking and baking facilities, a refrigeration system able to maintain an average temperature below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, a water heating facility for sinks, lavatory, shower, bathtub and laundry at a temperature of not less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Provide storage for trash, rubbish and garbage and a method to remove such trash.
  • The heating facility must maintain an average room temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit with an outside temperature of 10 degrees below zero.
  • All electrical, heating, water heating, cooking and plumbing systems are to be maintained to properly and safely perform their intended functions.
  • Have properly functioning smoke alarms approved by the Prince George's County Fire Protection Codes mounted on each floor and in each room used for sleeping purposes.
  • All dwellings with fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, a gas or wood burning fireplace or with an attached garage, must have a functioning carbon monoxide detector(s) mounted within 10 feet of each sleeping room. 

Contact Information

For more general information on Bowie's Housing and Property Maintenance Code contact the Code Compliance Office at 301-809-3008 or dmichelle@cityofbowie.org

To view a list of Code Compliance officers and their areas of responsibility, please visit our Code Compliance staff webpage.