Maryland Rental Agreement

Last Updated: October 31, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A Maryland rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Maryland landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.

Maryland Rental Agreement Types

16 pages
Residential Lease Agreement

A Maryland residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract for a tenant to rent a residential property from a landlord, subject to terms and conditions agreed by all parties.

14 pages
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

A Maryland month-to-month lease agreement is a contract (not necessarily written) where a tenant rents property from a landlord. The full rental term is one month, renewable on a month-to-month basis.

3 pages
Rental Application Form

Maryland landlords may use a rental application form to screen prospective tenants. A rental application collects information relating to finances, rental history, and past evictions.

7 pages
Residential Sublease Agreement

A Maryland sublease agreement is a legal contract where a tenant ("sublessor") rents (“subleases”) property to a new tenant (“sublessee”), usually with the landlord’s permission.

9 pages
Roommate Agreement

A Maryland roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.

8 pages
Commercial Lease Agreement

A Massachusetts commercial lease agreement is a legal contract arranging the rental of commercial space between a landlord and a business.

Common Residential Rental Agreements in Maryland

Maryland Required Residential Lease Disclosures

  • Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases) – Maryland leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
  • Security Deposit Receipt (required for some leases) – Maryland landlords collecting a security deposit must provide a receipt upon collection. The receipt must note the following:
    • The tenant’s right right to complete a move-in and move-out checklist within 15 days of the tenancy beginning
    • The tenant’s right to an inspection making itemized deductions from the security deposit
    • Disclosure that landlord failure to obey the security deposit statute makes the landlord responsible for damages in the amount of three times the total deposit
  • Water and Sewage Utility Obligation Disclosure (required for some leases) – Maryland leases for 1- or 2-unit buildings that share utilities must disclose this fact and mention the tenant’s right to receive copies of utility bills to ensure fair charges.
  • Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) Disclosure (required for some leases) – Maryland leases must disclose in writing if they use a ratio utility billing system (RUBS) to bill tenants for utilities.
  • Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Maryland residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.

To learn more about required disclosures in Maryland, click here.

Some Maryland cities, like Baltimore, may require additional disclosures. Local laws apply in addition to state laws.

Maryland Landlord Tenant Laws

  • Warranty of HabitabilityMaryland landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within a “reasonable” time (up to 30 days) after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord, terminate the lease, or withhold rent into an approved escrow. Tenants in Maryland aren’t allowed to repair and deduct.
  • Evictions – Maryland landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in Maryland take between two weeks to a few months.
  • Security Deposits – Maryland caps security deposits at a maximum of twice the periodic rent. Upon lease termination, a landlord must return any unused portion of a security deposit within 45 days.
  • Lease Termination – Maryland tenants can terminate a month-to-month lease with one month of advance notice. A fixed-term lease can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
  • Rent Increases and Fees – Maryland has no statewide rent control policy, but local areas can set their own policies regarding rent increases. Late fees cannot exceed 5% of the periodic rent, or if paid on a weekly basis, no more than $3 per week or $12 per month. Returned check fees are capped at $35 and must be agreed in the lease.
  • Landlord Entry – Maryland landlords may enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance and inspections certain reasons including emergency or to make necessary repairs. The state does not specify entry requirements, which means that a landlord can enter at reasonable times of day using reasonable advance notice (customarily at least 24 hours)
  • Settling Legal Disputes – Maryland allows hearing landlord-tenant disputes in its small claims courts, as long as the amount in controversy is under $5,000. Unlike many states, Maryland’s small claims courts are allowed to hear eviction cases.

To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Maryland, click here.