If a rental property in Maryland fails to meet legally required health and safety standards, tenants have the right to report their landlord to local public officials who may choose to follow up, inspect the property and cite the landlord for such violations.
What Are Considered Unsafe Living Conditions in Maryland?
In Maryland, unsafe living conditions exist when a rental property doesn’t have safe and working:
- Hot and cold running water.
- Adequate lighting.
- Sewage disposal.
- Features impacting health, safety, or habitability.
What Should Tenants Do Before Reporting a Violation in Maryland?
In most cases, before reporting a violation, a tenant in Maryland must notify the landlord in writing about the issue and ask him to fix it within a “reasonable time.” There’s a presumption in the law that it’s unreasonable to take more than 30 days for repairs.
How Can Tenants Report a Violation in Maryland?
Tenants in Maryland should report violations to the local office or officers responsible for housing code enforcement. The exact process depends on municipality.
|Printable Complaint Form
|Department of Housing and Community Affairs
After receiving a complaint, an inspecting officer might contact the tenant for more information. Then the officer will usually inspect the property and cite the landlord for any code violations.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Baltimore?
A tenant in Baltimore can report a health or safety violation by calling Code Enforcement at (410) 887-3351 or using the provided online form. The site requires account creation. Most issues will fall under “Building and Development Issue.” Provide a location, describe the issue, and submit.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Columbia?
A tenant in Columbia must report a health or safety violation by mailing or faxing a completed copy of the printable complaint form to Code Enforcement. The address is 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043. The fax number is (410) 313-3391.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Germantown?
A tenant in Germantown can report a health or safety violation by calling the Department of Housing and Community Affairs at (240) 777-0311 or using the provided online form. Provide contact and location information, detail the issue, and submit.
What Could Happen to a Landlord After a Complaint Is Made in Maryland?
After a tenant files a complaint about unsafe living conditions in Maryland, an officer may inspect the property. The landlord must fix noted code violations or face fines or a condemnation of the premises. A violation also puts the landlord on notice for purposes of the rent escrow statute.
In addition, where the complaint relates to something that has to be certified in working order for local licensing requirements, a landlord who isn’t properly licensed can’t file a court action to collect rent.