Landlord - Tenant

General Landlord - Tenant Articles

This article describes how the Judiciary's progressive reopening plan during the COVID-19 health emergency affects eviction and failure to pay rent cases.
Utilities are essential services necessary to make a dwelling livable. These include electricity, gas, water/sewage disposal, and trash collection.
Protective Orders can provide housing protections. Maryland laws also give victims of domestic violence in rental housing added protections.
A “residential lease” is a contract between a landlord and a renter, giving the renter the right to live in a house or apartment. This article gives a brief outline of several common concepts having to do with residential leases, and the duties of landlords and renters.
This article defines what a security deposit is and what is required of tenants and landlords.
Questions and Answers from Maryland Legal Aid's Maryland Senior Legal Hotline

Discrimination

This article discusses the Maryland Accessibility Code, which provides certain rights to individuals with disabilities and their families when they rent living space.
Federal and state law prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale, advertising and financing of housing on the basis of your race, color, religion, gender, national origin, family status.
People often wrongly assume that any discrimination by a landlord is illegal. “To discriminate” means simply to distinguish among available choices. Some of these distinctions are lawful; others are not.

Ending a Lease

Leases are binding contracts between the landlord(s) and the tenant(s). Maryland law imposes certain conditions on that contract such as limiting late fees to 5% of a monthly rental payment, but in those areas where the law does not impose limits, the landlord and tenant are free to negotiate their own agreement.
Terminating a lease in Public, HUD, or Section 8 housing must follow correct procedure.
Holding Over is when a tenant continues to live in a premises after the lease has expired. When a landlord consents to a holdover tenant remaining on the premises, a new monthly or weekly tenancy is created.
This articles lists the requirements for terminating or modifying a tenancy. It also covers what happens if a tenant or landlord dies.

Evictions

This article describes the conditions and requirements for a landlord to evict a tenant for breaching the lease.
This law provides for eviction and other remedies if any property, residential or commercial, including mobile homes, is being used for drug-related activity.
If a tenant, a family member or guest or someone under the tenant's control in public, Section 8, or HUD Housing is involved in criminal activity, the housing authority does not have to provide a hearing before filing a breach of lease action in District Court.
One of the facts of life in a rental situation is that there is no substitute for a good landlord or a good tenant. Laws can define the relationship and the responsibilities of each party but there are always situations that are best resolved by being decent, courteous and fair.
Maryland state law prohibits the landlord from taking possession of the premises or tenant’s property without legal process. Should a lockout occur, the tenant has the right to hire a locksmith, change the locks, re-enter the premises, and hold the landlord responsible for the cost involved.
This article describes when a tenancy may be terminated in public housing, Section 8, and HUD properties.
This article describes how the Judiciary's progressive reopening plan during the COVID-19 health emergency affects eviction and failure to pay rent cases.
This article describes the procedure for eviction for failure to pay rent, known as "summary ejectment".
Employees of the federal government, Maryland State government, and a local government in Maryland have certain protections during a government shutdown where the employee is involuntarily furloughed from work. These protections apply even if the employee is required to report to work during the furlough.
Whether it was with permission or without it an owner may file a Wrongful Detainer action in District Court to evict a non-tenant who refuses to leave
The article describes the process of going to rent court. Landlords can take their tenants to rent court to evict them for nonpayment of rent.
In an eviction proceeding for non-payment of rent, breach of lease, or holding over, if either tenant or landlord asks for a jury trial, tenant must pay into an escrow account all rent as it becomes due during the course of the action.
It is against the law in Maryland for a landlord to evict a tenant just because the tenant has brought suit against the landlord or participated in a suit against the landlord.
Distress for rent is a court procedure in which the landlord seeks to seize and sell certain of the tenant's possessions which are on the leased premises.

For Landlords

The business of owning and managing residential rental property is much like any business. It takes research, planning and knowledge. As a Maryland landlord, it is important that you know the federal, state and local laws governing the landlord tenant relationship.
If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, it is important to know the federal, state, and local laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship. This article will suggest some guidelines and resources.
Landlords are responsible to collect and handle security deposits in strict compliance with the law, to maintain certain records and receipts, and to post or provide certain information for tenants.
Landlords must assure that tenants get possession of the premises, but retain a right to enter the premises for reasonable purposes.

For Tenants

This law provides standards for the protection of consumers, including tenants and prospective tenants of residential property.
You can use the list of questions below to check an apartment before you move in.
One of the facts of life in a rental situation is that there is no substitute for a good landlord or a good tenant. Laws can define the relationship and the responsibilities of each party but there are always situations that are best resolved by being decent, courteous and fair.
You have a right to carefully inspect an apartment or house before you put a deposit on it and especially before you sign a lease.
This article describes the reasons to and how to get renter's insurance.
Landlords must assure that tenants get possession of the premises, but retain a right to enter the premises for reasonable purposes.
Sharing an apartment with a friend or an acquaintance can be fun and economically worthwhile. Such sharing can also create some interesting problems.
A sublease is an agreement in which the original tenant leases to a subtenant all or part of the rented premises for all or part of the remainder of the original tenant's term.
The tax relief provided by this law is based on a calculation that includes your total income and the actual amount paid as occupancy rent.

Leases

There are times when a tenant needs a co-signer. Sometimes a tenant, through frugal spending habits, can actually pay the required rent, but doesn’t meet the basic income requirements of the industry.
Utilities are essential services necessary to make a dwelling livable. These include electricity, gas, water/sewage disposal, and trash collection.
Lease option agreements give tenants the option of purchasing the property.
A lease is any oral or written agreement, express or implied, creating a landlord-tenant relationship.
The law limits the amount of rent active military personnel have to pay if they are transferred.
This article defines what a security deposit is and what is required of tenants and landlords.
A lease is a contract. A minor is generally not bound by his or her contracts. This means that, if a minor enters into a contract, the law will allow the minor to "void" the contract.

Local Laws

A description of county laws and rules apply only to residents and property in Anne Arundel County.
In all residential leases in Baltimore City, whether oral or written, it is implied that the landlord covenants and warrants that the dwelling is fit for human habitation.
Baltimore City has a law proscribing how a landlord may dispose of a former tenant's possessions after the tenant has been evicted.
Baltimore City has many special laws regarding lead paint abatement.
When a landlord delays unreasonably or refuses to repair a condition which threatens the life, health or safety of the tenant, the rent escrow law provides several remedies, including the payment of rent into court so that the accumulated funds may be used to pay for repairs.
Special laws for landlord/tenant issues
Beginning on January 1, 2019, Baltimore City landlords must have a license to operate their premises or else lose their right to collect rent.
This law provides that before any voluntary transfer of title, such as a sale, of a single-family residential rental property takes place, the tenant of that property has the right of first refusal to purchase it.
How to raise your concerns at a Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals hearing in Baltimore City.
Where there are certain serious defects in a dwelling and the landlord has failed to correct them within a reasonable time, this law permits the tenant to pay the rent into court so that funds may accumulate and be used to pay for needed repairs.
The following laws and rules about rental housing property apply specifically to residents and property in Baltimore County. Rules not covered here may be covered by other Maryland law.
Rental and housing laws vary from county to county. Local laws are one of the three different types of law that may apply to your rental or housing situation.
Montgomery County law requires landlords to fulfill certain requirements before and during a tenancy.
Special Laws that apply to Montgomery County and cities within.
Powers of the Human Relations Commission to eliminate discriminatory practices in housing in Prince George's County.
The Prince George's County Housing Code sets minimum standards for all structures intended or used for human habitation.
The following laws and rules apply only to residents or property in Prince George’s County. Note that the following rules apply only to Prince George’s County, and do not apply to any other areas of Maryland.

Property Conditions

The law requires some residential properties to have carbon monoxide alarms.
Landlords have responsibility to use ordinary care to keep common areas in safe condition.
Utilities are essential services necessary to make a dwelling livable. These include electricity, gas, water/sewage disposal, and trash collection.
When a tenant vacates a property, items which have been so attached to or associated with the property that they are considered part of the property may not be removed by the tenant.
Maryland and federal laws about lead paint are designed to reduce childhood lead poisoning. This article describes the duties of landlords and property owners of residential housing built before 1978.
Maryland and federal laws about lead paint are designed to reduce childhood lead poisoning. This article describes the rights of tenants and prospective buyers of residential housing built before 1978.
Tenants must return the premises at the end of the tenancy in substantially the same condition as when they moved in.
During the tenancy, the tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of the premises.
Residential requirements for smoke alarms and sprinkler systems

Public Housing

Terminating a lease in Public, HUD, or Section 8 housing must follow correct procedure.
This article describes when a tenancy may be terminated in public housing, Section 8, and HUD properties.
This article includes a brief comparison of the types of rules that apply to tenants based on the type of government subsidy received.
All of the Maryland rules governing landlord and tenant relations in privately owned rentals also apply, however, there are some added protections that only apply to section 8, HUD, and public housing.
Housing Choice Vouchers (section 8 vouchers) cover part of a tenant's rent. Vouchers may also be used to buy a house.

Rent Court

This article describes how the Judiciary's progressive reopening plan during the COVID-19 health emergency affects eviction and failure to pay rent cases.
Explanations of common lawsuits between Landlords and Tenants.
The article describes the process of going to rent court. Landlords can take their tenants to rent court to evict them for nonpayment of rent.
This article lists many question you might have with rent escrow.
Rent escrow provides a process through which a tenant pays rent into a court account instead of to the landlord until the landlord makes needed repairs. You can file a petition to establish a rent escrow account in your local District Court by filling out a "Petition in Action of Rent Escrow" form.

Transfers

The condominium system of separate ownership of the individual units of multi-unit dwellings has become increasingly common since it was introduced in the United States in the 1950's. In Maryland, the owner of any property - an occupied apartment building as well as vacant, unimproved land - may subject that property to condominium ownership by following the procedure prescribed by law.
Maryland law provides protections for tenants when the property is foreclosed.
Tenant's rights when the property is sold.
A sublease is an agreement in which the original tenant leases to a subtenant all or part of the rented premises for all or part of the remainder of the original tenant's term.