Maryland Landlord Tenant Laws
February 28, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Security deposit receipt
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: $35
Rent Control: N/A
Late Fee Limit: 5% of monthly rent
Grace Period Minimum: N/A
Amount Limit: 2 months’ rent
Return Within: 45 days
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
|Fair Housing Protections |
Source of income
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
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.
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
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.
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)).
- 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
- 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).
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Rent Demand Notice: 10 days to pay or quit (MD Code, Real Property § 8-401(c)).
- Notice for Lease Violation: 30 days to quit (MD Code, Real Property § 8-402.1).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit: 14 days to quit. According to Maryland eviction laws, this notice applies when the tenant engages in dangerous or harmful behavior (MD Code, Real Property § 8-402.1).
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.