The Maryland sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.
Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Maryland?
In Maryland, a tenant does need a landlord’s explicit written permission to sublet. Even after consent is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for having a criminal history or poor references.
Standard Maryland Sublease Agreements
A standard form can be used in Maryland to create a sublease. Here’s what is generally included in a Maryland sublease agreement:
- The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor.” The third-party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee”.
- Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the original lease.
- Term – State the exact date of the sublease beginning and ending date.
- Rent – How much the rent is, when it needs to be paid, and how to pay it.
- Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessor and those that are to be paid by the Sublessee.
- General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written consent of the parties to the agreement.
- Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor continues to have the ultimate responsibility to pay for any damages that impact the landlord as stated in the original lease agreement.
- Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
- Authorized Occupants – A list of the new tenant(s) and those authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
- Security Deposit – The security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord). Maryland law limits the maximum security deposit to two months’ rent. Landlords can give tenants the option to purchase a surety bond in place of (or in addition to) a security deposit as long as it is optional and the cost of the bond plus the security deposit does not exceed two months’ rent.
- Pet Deposit – If a tenant has a pet, the landlord can charge a pet deposit but the total security deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent.
- Return of Security Deposit – Maryland landlords have 45 days after the lease term ends to return any remaining portion of the security deposit.
- Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease (furniture or appliances).
- Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
- Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
- Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
- Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to give consent (if consent is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.
- Signature: The signature and date for the Sublessor, the Sublessee, any Co-Sublessors, and Co-Sublessees (if they exist).
Tax Implications of a Sublease in Maryland
In Maryland, a sublessor may be subject to state sales tax if they sublet a property for any period of 124 days or less. In some areas, additional local taxes apply for a different time period. For example, in Baltimore, taxes include:
- Maryland State Sales Tax – 6%
- Baltimore County Transient Tax – 9.5% (for less than 88 days)