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State Laws

Maryland Landlord Tenant Laws

February 28, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures 
  
Lead-based paint  
Landlord/agent ID 
Security deposit receipt 
Shared utilities 
  
Rent and Fees  
 
Application Fees: $35 
Rent Control: N/A 
Late Fee Limit: 5% of monthly rent 
Grace Period Minimum: N/A 
   
Security Deposits   

Amount Limit: 2 months’ rent 
Interest: Yes 
Return Within: 45 days 
  
Entry   

Notice: N/A 
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
Fair Housing Protections   

Race  
Color   
National origin   
Religion   
Sex   
Familial status   
Disability   
Sexual orientation 
Gender identity 
Marital status 
Source of income 
  
Eviction Notices   

Rent Demand Notice: 10-day notice to pay or quit
Notice for Lease Violation: 30-day notice to quit 
Unconditional Notice to Quit: 14-day notice to quit

Maryland Landlord-Tenant Law 

It’s important to understand the essential landlord tenant laws in the state of Maryland before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Maryland state law code. 

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Landlord/Agent Identification 

(MD Code, Real Property § 8-210

Maryland landlords must provide the name, address, and phone number of the landlord or another person authorized to accept notices on the landlords’ behalf. 

Security Deposit Receipt 

(MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(c)(1), 8-203.1). 

Landlords must include a receipt for all security deposits in the written lease agreement. The receipt should notify tenants of their right to be present during the move-in and move-out inspections and to receive a written list of deductions at the termination of the tenancy. 

Shared Utilities 

(Tenant Protection Act of 2022

If the landlord uses a ratio utility billing system, they must disclose how utilities are allocated between tenants. Lease documents should reference this new law. 

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: Rent in Maryland is due on the date specified in the lease. 
  • Application Fees: Landlords may charge an application fee of $25 or less (MD Code, Real Property § 8-213(b)).  
  • Rent Increases: There is no statewide rent control in Maryland. However, some localities may have rent control regulations. 
  • Late Fees: 5% of monthly rent or less (MD Code, Real Property § 8-208(d)(3)). 
  • Grace Period: Is there a legal grace period for rent in Maryland? Fortunately for landlords, there is no mandatory grace period in Maryland. 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of $35 (MD Code, Criminal Law § 8-107).  
  • Withholding Rent: If the landlord refuses to repair a condition that presents a serious threat to the life, health, and safety of the occupants, the tenant may send a written notification by certified mail to the landlord about the condition. If the landlord has not repaired the condition within a reasonable amount of time, the tenant may withhold rent or bring an action of rent escrow into court (MD Code, Real Property § 8-211(i)). 

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: 2 months’ rent (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(b)(1)). 
  • Interest: According to Maryland security deposit laws, landlords are required to pay tenants interest on their security deposits and keep them in interest-bearing accounts. The simple interest rate should be either 1.5% per year or the amount accrued at the daily US Treasury yield curve rate for one year, whichever is greater (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(e)(1)).  No interest is required for deposits less than $50 or held less than six months (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(e)(2-3)).  
  • Return Within: 45 days (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203.1(a)(5)).  
  • Deposit Location: Security deposits must be kept in federally insured financial institutions which do business in the State. They should be kept separate from other funds and deposited in such an account within 30 days after the landlord receives it (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(d)(1)). 
  • Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent and property damage to the unit, common areas, appliances, or furnishings beyond wear and tear (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(f)(1)(i)).Landlords are also required to provide an itemized list of deductions, together with the remainder of the security deposit, within 45 days of the lease end date (MD Code, Real Property § 8-203(g)(1)). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Maryland state law adds marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and source of income (MD Code, State Government § 20-705). 

Credit Reports 

  • Maryland landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681),  which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. 

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Maryland. However, Montgomery County recently passed a new ordinance that limits the use of criminal record information in rental applications (Bill 35-20). 
  • Maryland landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property. 

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: There is no state law in Maryland requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property.  
  • Permitted Times: Maryland state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering. 
  • Emergency Entry: There are no laws in Maryland regarding emergency entry without notice, but it is generally permitted.  

Eviction Notices 

Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in Maryland, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the Maryland eviction process in more detail.

Other Laws and Facts About Maryland 

  • The median rent rate in Maryland is $1,844. 
  • The median rent rate in Baltimore is $1,524. 
  • Maryland landlords must provide a written lease agreement if they own five or more dwelling units or if the lease is one year or longer. 

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