Maryland is a relatively tenant-friendly state. From stern security deposit regulations to required lease disclosures to mandatory rental property registrations, every move you make as a landlord is regulated by the state and often the county as well. Be careful in all your interactions with tenants in the State of Maryland.
Maryland Landlord-Tenant Laws At a Glance:
Security Deposit Limit: two months’ rent
Late Fee Limit: 5% of rent
Late Fee Chargeable After: five days after due date (exception: Montgomery County, ten days)
Returned Payment Fee Limit: $35
Notice to End Lease: 60 days
Maryland Security Deposits:
Maryland security deposits cannot exceed two months’ rent, and that includes pet deposits or any other refundable deposit collected upon signing the lease agreement.
Landlords and property managers must hold security deposits in a separate, interest-bearing escrow account, located within the state of Maryland. They must deposit the funds into this account within 30 days of receiving them.
Further, property managers and landlords must supply the tenant with a Maryland Security Deposit Receipt Disclosure, informing them of details about where their security deposit is held.
Within 45 days of the tenant moving out of the leased premises, the landlord must either return the security deposit in full or provide a written breakdown of any expenses deducted along with any remaining balance.
The landlord must also pay the tenant interest on the security deposit – see the official Maryland Rental Security Deposit Calculator to calculate the amount of interest owed.
Notes on County-Specific Laws:
Baltimore: Baltimore City has extremely tenant-friendly laws. Evictions take a long time, and the property must be registered annually with the City of Baltimore. There are several disclosures that should be included with lease packages depending on the tenancy, including the Baltimore City Disclosure of Expenses and Baltimore City Flood Zone Disclosure. Speak with an attorney or property manager familiar with Baltimore City landlord-tenant laws if you’ve never leased there before.
Montgomery County: There is a separate Montgomery County Lease Agreement Rider that must be included with all Maryland leases for rental units in Montgomery County.
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Maryland-Specific Rental Documents:
Maryland Lead Paint Disclosure: Required along with the Maryland lease agreement, the MDE Lead Paint Pamphlet, the HUD Lead-Based Paint Disclosure and the EPA Lead-Based Paint Pamphlet, for rental properties built before 1978.
Maryland Department of the Environment Lead Paint Pamphlet: Required to be given to the tenant when the lease agreement is signed, and every two years thereafter.
Maryland Security Deposit Receipt Disclosure: Required to be delivered and signed alongside Maryland lease agreements.
Maryland Notice to Vacate: In most cases, this eviction notice gives the tenant 30 days to comply and stop violating the rental agreement. If they continue to violate the lease, the landlord can then file in court for eviction.
Baltimore City Disclosure of Expenses: A mandatory disclosure of all expenses related to the rental property, to be delivered along with the rental agreement.
Baltimore City Flood Zone Disclosure: This is required to be presented with the lease, if the rental property is in a flood zone.
Montgomery County Lease Agreement Rider: Required for all lease agreements in Montgomery County.
Maryland Rental Property Registration:
Statewide: Landlords must register their rental properties with the Maryland Department of the Environment every year, and (of course) pay an annual fee.
County-Specific: Some Maryland counties require that rental properties also register with them annually, including (but not limited to) Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Howard County. They also charge annual registration fees.
Landlord Right of Entry:
In Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, the landlord must give the tenant 24 hours’ notice before entering the rental unit, except for emergencies. Giving 24 hours’ written notice is a good rule of thumb for landlords in other Maryland counties, to prevent tenant lawsuits or claims of landlord misconduct. The landlord or their agent may enter in an emergency however.
Maryland Rent Control:
The following jurisdictions have zones with rent control: Frederick County, College Park, Takoma Park, and Washington County. Always double check with your jurisdiction if you have any doubts about rent restrictions.
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