A Maryland lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a tenant and a landlord that defines their rights and obligations.
The primary right of the landlord is to claim rent from the tenant, and they are also obliged to ensure that the tenant can use the leased property without disturbance. On the other hand, the tenant is required to pay the rent by the due date and has the right to use the leased property during the specified time period.
Maryland Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
There are a few obligatory disclosures that must be included in the lease agreement, such as:
Lead-based paint disclosure. If the property was built before 1978, the landlord must inform the tenant if there is lead-based paint on the property. This disclosure is mandatory under federal law.
Landlord/Agent Identification. The full names and addresses of the landlord and the person who can, on behalf of the landlord, receive notice and requests from the tenant must be specified in the lease agreement. (§8-210)
Habitability and safety disclosure. The rental agreement must contain a statement about the condition of the rented property in terms of habitability and safety. It also needs to state specific obligations for both the landlord and the tenant for heating, gas, electricity, water, and premises repair. (§8-208 (c) (1 and 2))
Ratio utility billing system disclosure. This means that one or more of a landlord's utility charges, which are collected through a master meter, are split among the tenants in a way that doesn't take into account how much each tenant actually uses the utility. (§8-212.4)
Security deposit receipt. After receiving the security deposit, the landlord must issue a receipt to the tenant, and the receipt must be included in the lease agreement as well. (§8-208 (c)(3))
Move-in/Move-out list. These include both a list of damage that exists at the start of the lease and a list that determines whether there is any damage to the premises made during the tenant’s stay. (§8-203.1)
Maryland Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Although not prescribed as mandatory, the following disclosures will additionally protect the rights and interests of both contracting parties:
Asbestos disclosure. The lease agreements for properties built before 1981 should include information about any asbestos hazards that may exist there.
Smoking and pet disclosure. This disclosure specifies whether pets and smoking are permitted on the rented property.
Mold disclosure. The landlord will inform the tenant if there have been problems with mold on the rented property in the past.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
If the landlord fails to issue a receipt after receiving the security deposit, they will be liable to the tenant for $25. (§8-203.1.C) According to federal law, the fine also awaits the landlords who fail to notify the tenant about the lead-based paint hazard, but it’s much bigger—up to $19,507. (24 CFR §30.65)
Maryland Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The landlord is allowed to request the highest amount of a security deposit from the tenant that is equal to the sum of two (2) months' worth of rent. (§8-203(b)(1))
Security Deposit Return
The landlord is required to return the security deposit within 45 days after the lease termination and notify the tenant of all costs deducted from the security deposit.
If the landlord does not return the security deposit within the time frame specified, the tenant may file a lawsuit in court for three times the amount of the retained security deposit plus attorney's fees. (§8-203(e)(4))
In case the landlord fails to inform the tenant of their right to attend the inspection of the leased item, they lose the right to keep any of the security deposit to cover possible damage to the leased item. (§ 8–203(f)(1)(ii-vii))
When is Rent Due in Maryland? (Grace Period)
According to Maryland law, there is no grace period when the rent is past due. Therefore, the landlord has the power to charge a late fee or initiate eviction proceedings right away after the rent is due.
However, to initiate the eviction process, the landlord must first provide the tenant with a written notice of their intent to file a complaint for non-payment of the rent. This gives the tenant 10 days to pay the past-due rent. (§ 8–401(c)(1))
Maryland Rent Late Fees
The maximum penalty the landlord may charge you for late rent payments is 5% of the agreed-upon rent. For example, if your monthly rent is $200, the most your landlord can charge you for being late is $10. (§ 8-208(d)(3)(i)(ii))
Maryland NSF Checks
If the tenant pays the rent with a check that is returned unpaid (also known as a "dishonored check"), they will be obligated to pay a fee that, according to Section §15-803(a) of the Maryland Statutes, cannot be more than $35.
Maryland Landlord’s Right to Enter
The right of a landlord to enter a rented property is not regulated by Maryland law. This implies that the landlord has the right to enter the leased property at any time.
As a result, it's a good idea to specify when the landlord must notify the tenant of his intention to enter the leased property when creating a lease agreement.
Maryland Lease Agreement FAQ
The Maryland lease agreement should include the following:
Names and addresses of both the landlord and tenant
Information about leased property
Duration of the lease
The amount of rent and the due date
Security deposit and receipt
Other rights and obligations of the parties
Date and place of the contract signature
Signatures of the parties
It's simple—you can find different lease agreement templates on our website.
Each of the templates is in accordance with Maryland state law, so it is up to you to choose the type of lease agreement that suits your needs and interests.
After creating the lease agreement, make sure to:
Inspect the property before moving in
Sign the move-in checklist
Check everything again to ensure that no disclosures have been missed in the lease agreement
Provide copies of the lease agreement for both contracting parties
Sign the lease agreement
Pay a security deposit and rent (for tenants)
Hand over the keys to the tenant (for landlords)