Maryland Landlord Retaliation Laws

Maryland Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: May 4, 2023

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Lease/Health/Safety Complaints
  • Participating in a Tenant Organization
  • Participating in a Suit vs. Landlord
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Raising Rent
  • Decreasing Services
  • Filing/Threatening Eviction
  • Terminating Periodic Tenancy
Penalties for Retaliation
  • Damages (up to 3x monthly rent)
  • Court Costs & Attorney Fees

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Maryland?

It’s illegal for Maryland landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past six months:

  • Reporting violations of lease, health, or safety to the government or the landlord.
  • Participating in a suit against the landlord.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in Maryland?

Maryland tenants can sue a retaliating landlord (or use retaliation as a defense, when the landlord’s retaliation is an attempted eviction or other court action). If the tenant wins, the court will grant damages of up to triple the monthly rent, plus court costs and attorney fees.