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Maryland Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

by Editor | ezLandlordForms
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Maryland Landlord Tenant Law: FAQs

Are there rent control/rent stabilization policies or laws in Maryland?
Rent Control Policies Exist in the Following Locations: College Park, Frederick County, Takoma Park, and Washington County. Landlords should check with their local housing authority for further information and to determine regulations.

What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
Security deposits may not exceed 2 month’s rent.

Are there any specifications regarding the placement and/or acceptance of the security deposit?
Security deposits are required to be held in an interest bearing account that is maintained by a financial institution located within the state and the account must exclusively house only the security deposit. Additionally, the security deposit must be placed in an account within 30 days of receipt and a written statement of the deposit must be provided to the tenant.

Please Note: When the tenant provides the landlord with the security deposit, the landlord must then provide a written statement showing the tenant they have the right to be present at an inspection of the property when tenant moves out.

Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.

May I charge a fee for late rent or a returned payment?
Late fees may not exceed 5% of the amount owed for rent. Week to Week leases may charge a late penalty of no more than $3 per week or a total of no more than $12 per month. A returned payment fee must be no more than $35. Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 15-802.

What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.

How can I end a Maryland lease agreement?
Any lease or other written agreement may not require the tenant to give a longer notice of termination than the landlord. (Md. Code, Real Property, Section 8-501.) When a written lease contains termination provisions; the required notice of intent to vacate shall be provided within the lease.

  • Baltimore City law requires the landlord to give at least 60 days’ written notice before the end of the year, month, or week when the tenant is to leave. The tenant normally has to give only a 30-day written notice.(Public Local Laws, Sec. 9-16.M)

My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
Landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit within 45 days after the tenancy ends. Either the full deposit plus interest (if the deposit was in excess of $50) must be provided OR an itemization of any deductions and the balance, if applicable. The interest may be computed using the : Maryland Rental Security Deposit Calculator. , which is provided by Maryland.gov web-site.

Maryland provides very strict laws regarding the acceptance and return of security deposits. Failure to follow them may bring stiff fines and legal ramifications. Security Deposits are governed by Maryland Chapter 489.

Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.

How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.

How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.

Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
There are no clearly-defined state-wide limits on the landlord’s right to enter the leased premises. Rather, in the absence of a genuine emergency, there is a balance between the tenant’s right of privacy and the landlord’s right to enter regarding tasks such as performing an inspection, making repairs, and/or showing the leased premises.

Please Note: In Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, the landlord is required to give 24 hours notice prior to entering the leased premises.

Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
The landlord has a duty to disclose material facts and/or latent (hidden) defects relating to the leased premises.
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.

VERY IMPORTANT: The owner must give the MDE pamphlet, “LEAD POISONING PREVENTION – Notice of Tenants’ Rights” to all new tenants as well as every two years thereafter for long term tenants. Notices and packets must be provided in a verifiable manner, such as by certified mail.

How much advance notice must a landlord provide in Maryland?

For single-family and multi-family units, the landlord must provide written notice that is at least two months in length if there isn’t a lease violation.

How long can a landlord leave you without air conditioning in Maryland?

According to Maryland landlord tenant law, landlords are required to provide a habitable living space for their tenants, which includes maintaining essential systems like heating and air conditioning. However, there is no specific law in Maryland that lays out a time frame for how long a landlord can leave a tenant without air conditioning. If a tenant is experiencing an issue with their air conditioning, they should contact their landlord and request repairs to be made as soon as possible. If the landlord fails to address the issue, the tenant may have legal grounds for a complaint or to terminate the lease.

Can a tenant withhold rent for repairs in Maryland?

In Maryland, a tenant has the right to request repairs and to have them made in a timely manner by the landlord. If the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs, a tenant may have the right to withhold rent until the repairs are made. However, it’s important to note that in order to legally withhold rent, the tenant must follow certain procedures.

The tenant must give written notice to the landlord of the specific repairs that are needed and allow the landlord a reasonable time to make the repairs. If the landlord still fails to make the repairs, the tenant may then withhold rent and deposit it into an escrow account. The tenant must also be current on all rent payments before taking this action.

It’s also important to note that if the tenant decides to withhold rent, the landlord may take legal action against the tenant for non-payment of rent. It’s always recommended that tenants consult with legal counsel before taking any actions like this.

What is the maximum rent increase allowed in Maryland?

Maryland does not have a statewide law that limits the amount of rent that landlords can charge or that regulates rent increases. However, some localities in Maryland, such as Baltimore City and Montgomery County, have implemented their own rent stabilization or rent control laws.

In Baltimore City, for example, landlords are only allowed to increase rent on a year-to-year lease by a maximum of 2.8%. In Montgomery County, landlords are also limited on how much they can increase rent, but the maximum increase varies depending on the type of housing, the area, and the inflation rate.

It’s important to note that even if the landlord is allowed to increase the rent, they must give the tenant proper notice of the increase. It’s usually 30 days or more depending on the jurisdiction before raising the rent.

It’s always best to check with the local government regarding the specific rules and regulations in your area, as well as consulting with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.

Can a landlord evict the tenant without a court order in Maryland?

No, a landlord in Maryland cannot evict a tenant without a court order. The process of eviction in Maryland is called “summary ejectment” and it involves obtaining a court order from a District Court.

The landlord must first provide the tenant with notice, usually 30 days, stating the reason for the eviction, such as non-payment of rent or violation of the lease terms. If the tenant fails to correct the issue or vacate the property within the notice period, the landlord may then file a complaint in District Court.

The court will then hold a hearing, during which both the landlord and the tenant can present their evidence and arguments. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, it will issue an order for the tenant to vacate the property, and if the tenant does not vacate, the court may authorize a sheriff to physically remove the tenant from the property.

It’s important to note that tenants have certain rights and protections under Maryland landlord tenant law, and should consult with legal counsel to understand the eviction process and their rights.

How long can a tenant go without paying rent in Maryland?

According to Maryland landlord-tenant law, the amount of time a tenant can go without paying rent before a landlord can initiate the eviction process depends on the type of notice given by the landlord.

If the tenant has not paid rent when it is due, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a notice to pay rent or quit, typically giving the tenant 3 days to pay the rent or vacate the property.

If the tenant still fails to pay the rent within the 3 days notice period, the landlord can then file a complaint in District Court for eviction.

It’s also important to note that tenants have certain rights and protections under Maryland landlord tenant law, and should consult with legal counsel to understand the eviction process and their rights.

In Maryland, how frequently must landlords replace carpet?

There is no specific law in Maryland that requires landlords to replace carpet at any specific intervals. The requirement would be that the carpeting is in a habitable condition and the landlord has to maintain the rental property in a safe and habitable condition.

However, it’s important to note that if the carpet is worn, stained, or otherwise in poor condition, it could be considered a violation of the implied warranty of habitability and the tenant may have grounds to request repairs or terminate the lease.

It’s also a good practice for landlords to replace the carpeting periodically, as it can help keep the rental property in good condition and attract new tenants when necessary.

How much time in Maryland does a landlord have to make repairs?

The courts typically require landlords to finish any repairs that are necessary for safety in 30 days or fewer. Tenant may ask a court to start the escrow procedure if a landlord doesn’t take action in a timely manner. The judge will render a judgement following the hearing.

Who do a tenant report their landlord to in Maryland?

Tenant can report their landlord to the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs(OLTA or Landlord-Tenant Affairs).

How long does a landlord have to file a lawsuit in Maryland for unpaid rent?

In Maryland, a landlord has a certain amount of time to sue a tenant for unpaid rent, also known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for an eviction case based on non-payment of rent is 3 years. This means that a landlord has 3 years from the date of the last missed rent payment to file a lawsuit against the tenant to recover any unpaid rent.

It’s important to note that the statute of limitations for eviction based on breach of lease, like lease violations, is 6 years.

In Maryland, how frequently can a landlord inspect a home?

Regular inspections must be carried out by the landlord at least once every six months.

Can the tenant sue their landlord in Maryland?

Yes, the tenant can sue their landlord in Maryland. The most common types of lawsuits that tenants file against landlords are for breach of contract, negligence, and housing code violations. If you’re considering filing a lawsuit against your landlord, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney to learn about your rights and the best way to pursue damages.

In Maryland, is a landlord permitted to enter without warning?

Landlords in Maryland are generally allowed to come into the property without notice, assuming that they have a reasonable belief that there is an emergency or that the tenant has abandoned the property. However, landlords must give tenants reasonable notice before entering the property for any other purpose.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

Have questions about Maryland laws?  Ask them in our State Law Forum, and also review our other Maryland rental resources!

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