Are you overwhelmed looking at the state law regarding real estate in your area? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. State law can be dense and overly complicated. However, when you’re looking to invest in a new rental property, you need to make sure you understand those laws to avoid any potential lawsuits. Below is a list of some things to keep in mind when renting out property in Maryland. Use this guide to inform your future research into the topic. 

Rent and Fees

It’s important that you charge your tenants the correct amount each month in terms of rent and other fees. Having consistent and reasonable payment policies not only makes you seem more professional, but sometimes those policies are dictated by the state. So, when asking, is there a legal grace period for rent? Or how much should I charge for a bounced check? These things are already detailed in Maryland state law.

As for grace periods, Maryland does not enforce any mandatory grace period. Maryland also doesn’t have any statewide rent control, though some localities could have their own regulations regarding this issue. 

If your tenant pays rent via check and that check bounces, the landlord can charge a fee of $35. Application fees are capped at $25, and if you have to charge a late fee, it can be up to 5% of that tenant’s monthly rent. 

Another interesting aspect of Maryland rent laws is that, if a landlord refuses to repair a condition that is a threat to the occupants’ health or safety, the tenant can send a notice in the mail to their landlord and ask them to repair the issue. If the landlord does not do so within a reasonable time period, the tenant can withhold rent or bring an action of rent escrow into court. 


Evictions are a serious matter that usually require a lot of legal red tape. Because of this, each state has their own policies regarding the eviction process and Maryland is no different.

Maryland landlord tenant laws specify three different kinds of procedures for eviction. If the tenant has unpaid rent, Maryland eviction laws state that the landlord can file for eviction immediately. In the case of a lease violation, the tenant has 30 days before they have to leave the property, otherwise known as 30 days to quit. If the tenant displays dangerous behavior that poses a threat to the health and safety of the landlord or other occupants, they get an unconditional notice to quit which gives them 14 days to vacate the property.

If you’re unsure about the legal way to evict someone, it’s best to hire a lawyer to navigate the steps with you. Federal law states that discrimination in housing against any of their seven protected classes is illegal, and if you evict someone without strong documented reason, you could be at risk for a lawsuit. Keep in mind that Maryland law adds four additional protected classes. You cannot discriminate in housing based on marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or source of income. 

Security Deposits

Maryland security deposit laws are there to ensure that your tenant’s money is kept and returned safely, and also to guide you in the correct way to handle their deposit. Security deposits should always be treated as though they are going to be returned in full to the tenant, and until they prove to you that they deserve a deduction (due to something previously stated in their rental agreement), you need to return the entire sum. Or, if you had to withdrawal funds, make sure you provide an itemized list of all the deductions upon the tenant’s receipt of the remaining money. 

In Maryland, there are a few rules that landlords should follow when dealing with their renters’ security deposits. Landlords cannot charge any more than two months’ worth of rent for the deposit, and they must return the deposit within 45 days. Landlords are required to pay interest in these funds and keep them in interest-bearing accounts. However, no interest is required for deposits that are less than $50, or deposits that are held for less than six months. If you’re collecting interest on the deposit, the interest rate should be either 1.5% a year, or the amount accrued at the daily US Treasury yield curve rate for one year, whichever amount is greater. 


Although there are many other regulations and rules that Maryland state law sets out for landlords, the aforementioned information is a great jumping off point for your research. Make sure you’re familiar with all the laws in your area, because they were made with the intention of ensuring that each tenant is given fair and equal opportunities for quality housing. Being a good landlord is knowing the laws that govern your area and how to follow them.

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