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Maryland Rental Lease Agreements | Laws

A Maryland lease agreement is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant that defines the terms and conditions of renting property. The tenant will need to review the document in its entirety, ensuring that the length of the term, the cost of rent, the cost of the security deposit, and all listed responsibilities and rights seem just and to their liking. Regardless of whether the lease is for a large commercial space for a 3-year period, or is merely a roommate agreement wherein the rules of the household or signed off on, all parties involved must comply to the document’s contents and inscribe their signature for the agreement to be considered legally binding.

Rental Application – Prior to renting out an apartment, a landlord will often use a rental application to obtain the employment and credit history of a prospective tenant to ensure they’re a suitable candidate.


Agreements: By Type (7)

Commercial Lease Agreement – This lease agreement is used strictly for non-residential real estate. This type of agreement applies to property that could be used for office space, a restaurant, retail stores, industrial warehouses, and other commercial uses.

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College Roommate Agreement – Those living in a college dorm or other shared living space can use this roommate agreement to settle the manner in which the residence will be run.

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Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) – A lease with the option to buy provides the tenant with the ability to rent the property and purchase it should they meet the requirements detailed in the lease document.

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Month to Month Lease Agreement – Also referred to as an at-will lease, this agreement allows for an arrangement where the tenant can rent the space indefinitely until either party gives proper written notice that they intend on terminating the agreement.

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Roommate Agreement – This document enables two (2) or more roommates to relay the terms and conditions of cohabitation.

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Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – A standard lease agreement is one with a defined termination date set at twelve (12) months. It is for a residential property and will relay all provisions and conditions of renting the property.

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Sublease Agreement – A sublease agreement provides a tenant with the ability to rent out a room or the entire apartment to a sublessor. This can be accomplished only with the consent of the landlord.

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Landlord-Tenant Laws


Move-in/Move-out Checklist (§  8-203.1(a)(1)) – The tenant has the right to have the landlord inspect the premises in their presence at the beginning of the tenancy in order to make a list of existing damages.

Habitation (§ 8–208(c)) – A lease must include a statement that the rental property is habitable and it must list the tenant’s responsibilities with regard to utility payments.

Security Deposit Receipt  § 8–208(c)(3)) – The landlord must include, with the lease, a written receipt for a security deposit provided by the tenant.

Landlord’s Access

General Access – There is no statute that dictates a mandatory notice period for which the landlord must allow. It is standard, however, to provide at least twenty-four (24) hours’ notice.

Emergency Access – There is no statute the outlines the access a landlord is granted to the property in an emergency. Generally speaking, little to no notice is required.


Grace Period (§ 8-401) – There is no grace period for unpaid rent in Maryland. Rent is due on the day indicated in the lease.

Maximum Fees ($) (§ 8-208(d)(3)))- Landlords may not charge a late fee greater than 5% of the cost of monthly rent.

Rent Increase Notice – There is no statute that dictates the amount of notice a landlord must provide their tenant prior to increasing the rent.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount ($) (§ 8–203(b)(1)) – The landlord may not charge in excess of two (2) months’ rent as a security deposit.

Returning to Tenant (§ 8–203(e)(1)) – The landlord must return the security deposit within forty-five (45) days of the termination of the tenancy.

Interest Required?  (§ 8–203(e)(1)) – All interest accrued from the security deposit must be returned with the entirety of the deposit owed.

Separate Bank Account? § 8–203(d)(1)(i)) – The funds must be deposited into an account at a federally insured institution that is dedicated exclusively to security deposits,