A Maryland standard residential lease agreement defines the terms, conditions, rights, and obligations that a landlord and tenant must agree upon before entering into a residential tenancy arrangement. The landlord may demand a security deposit upfront before renting to the tenant; the receipt for which must be included in the lease. Other provisions that must be detailed in a residential lease are rent amount, payment date, length of lease, obligations and responsibilities of both parties, and renewal options, to name a few. Once this agreement is signed by the parties, they are legally bound to it until the end of the rental term.
Rental Laws – Article Real Property, Title 8
Handbook (Guide) – Attorney General’s Landlords and Tenants Handbook
Maximum (§ 8–203(b)(1)) – Two (2) Months’ Rent
Returning (§ 8–203(e)(1)) – Forty-Five (45) Days
Rent is due as per the lease agreement signed by the landlord and their tenant. There are no grace period laws in Maryland; therefore, a landlord can charge a late fee the day after rent has not been paid. Landlords may not charge a late fee in excess of 5% of the rent amount (or 3$ per week if rent is paid in weekly installments) (§ 8-208(d)(3)).
State law requires leases to include a statement that attests that the premises is habitable and safe.
A disclosure is required for all residences built before 1978, that informs tenants that lead-based paint may be present on the premises.
If the tenant pays a security deposit, they must be given a receipt that informs them that they have the right to have the premises inspected by the landlord to make a written list of existing damages in their presence within fifteen (15) days of occupancy.
If the landlord requires the tenant to pay a security deposit, they must include a written receipt for the deposit in the lease.
The lease must disclose the landlord and tenant’s obligations regarding payment for utilities and repairs.