Maryland Tenant Rights Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed September 14, 2017
While renting a house or apartment might relieve you of certain responsibilities like property taxes and major repairs, you may still face a myriad of issues inherent in the landlord-tenant relationship. For this reason, there are many federal, state, and local laws designed to govern this relationship and provide both sides with certain protections. The article below discusses some important Maryland tenant rights laws.
Tenant Rights from Discrimination to Eviction
Before and after you sign a lease, Maryland law protects you against discrimination based on your race, religion, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. For example, it's illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent to you or to misrepresent the availability of a unit based on your familial status or national origin. Additionally, your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you exercise your tenant rights.
Maryland also limits the amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit to the equivalent of two months' rent. And during your tenancy, you have the right to live in a habitable unit which means the landlord must repair serious and dangerous defects such as a lack of heat, hot water, or sewage disposal. Under certain conditions, you may even be able to withhold rent by placing it in an escrow account until your rental issues are resolved. These and other laws are designed to protect you against unfair practices within the landlord-tenant relationship.
Maryland Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance
A summary of Maryland state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship is provided in the chart below, including links to important code sections. However, it's also important to check your local city and county laws for additional rules and restrictions.
Ending or Renewing a Tenancy
Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Maryland Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources
- Maryland Lease and Rental Agreement Laws
- Maryland Guide for Landlords and Tenants
- Tenant Lease Agreement FAQs
- Tenants' Rights Basics
- U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in Maryland
- Maryland Housing Discrimination
Receive a Free Evaluation of Your Tenant Issue
While some rental issues can be resolved amicably with your landlord, others require a more aggressive legal assertion of your tenant rights. Whether you're dealing with a minor lease issue or a major rat infestation, receive a free case review to better understand your rights and responsibilities under Maryland tenant rights laws.
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