Housing

General Housing Articles

Resources for finding a homeshare.

Foreclosure

Laws passed in the wake of the foreclosure crisis beginning in 2008 give more protection to tenants in foreclosed properties.
This article lists available resources for homeowners to try to avoid foreclosure.
Step by step explanation of the foreclosure process from mortgage default to sale and eviction.
This articles includes an explanation of what foreclosure mediation is and how a homeowner may want to prepare for it.
Find definitions for some of the most common foreclosure terms.

Homelessness

This article is a general description of a school's duties and the student's rights when a student is homeless.

Homeownership

When you decide to sell your home it is important to be sure that you have all of the information you need to make wise decisions. This article provides answers to some basic questions which come up when you decide to sell your home.
The purpose of this article is to provide some basic information about legal matters before you sign any contracts or pay out any money.
Predatory Lending and Flipping are two problems that can affect low income homebuyers, especially in Baltimore City.
Follow these 10 tips as you hire a building contractor.
The history of ground rent and how it affects Maryland homeowners.
What are reverse mortgages and what are the common pitfalls.
Sometimes as people age, their physical abilities fail and may make it difficult, or even impossible, to stay in their homes without some changes or modifications to the home.
A table of options for resolving disputes with contractors
You can solve many of the problems with your neighbors by following a step-by-step plan. Some of the most common are noise, property boundaries, fences, trees or blighted property.
This article answers a number of frequently asked questions about neighbor disputes.
When a storm hits, damage from flooding, downed trees, and high winds are trouble for homeowners.
May I keep chickens on my property? What are the rules in my city or county?
This article describes a general process for giving away property rights to someone else for no money. For example, you may wish to make a gift of property, or you may wish to add a family member to your deed. You should be aware that simply adding someone to a property deed can have very different results depending on the exact words used in the new deed. If you are buying or selling property, it is important to get professional help.
Brief overview and available resources for homeowners facing tax sale
Section 8 tenants receive vouchers to cover the cost of rent or to pay reduced rent. Vouchers may also be used to buy a house.
This article describes the rights of a homeowner who lives in a homeowners association (HOA) or condominium (condo) in Maryland, when the HOA or condo says that the homeowner is violating rules.
Real property, which is also often referred to as real estate, is the land and the things that are permanently attached to it, like a house. Real property can have a sole owner. Real property can also have multiple owners. The owner may be a person, but the owners can also be a company, a trust, or other entity.

Landlord/Tenant - Discrimination

People often wrongly assume that any discrimination by a landlord is illegal. “To discriminate” means simply to distinguish among available choices. Some of these distinctions are lawful; others are not.
Federal and state law prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale, advertising and financing of housing on the basis of your race, color, religion, gender, national origin, family status.
This article discusses the Maryland Accessibility Code, which provides certain rights to individuals with disabilities and their families when they rent living space.

Landlord/Tenant - Ending a Lease

This articles lists the requirements for terminating or modifying a tenancy. It also covers what happens if a tenant or landlord dies.
Holding Over is when a tenant continues to live in a premises after the lease has expired. When a landlord consents to a holdover tenant remaining on the premises, a new monthly or weekly tenancy is created.
Terminating a lease in Public, HUD, or Section 8 housing must follow correct procedure.
Leases are binding contracts between the landlord(s) and the tenant(s). Maryland law imposes certain conditions on that contract such as limiting late fees to 5% of a monthly rental payment, but in those areas where the law does not impose limits, the landlord and tenant are free to negotiate their own agreement.
Sample agreement to be signed by landlords and tenants.

Landlord/Tenant - Evictions

Whether it was with permission or without it an owner may file a Wrongful Detainer action in District Court to evict a non-tenant who refuses to leave
This article describes the procedure for eviction for failure to pay rent, known as "summary ejectment".
It is against the law in Maryland for a landlord to evict a tenant just because the tenant has brought suit against the landlord or participated in a suit against the landlord.
This article describes the conditions and requirements for a landlord to evict a tenant for breaching the lease.
The article describes the process of going to rent court. Landlords can take their tenants to rent court to evict them for nonpayment of rent.
In an eviction proceeding for non-payment of rent, breach of lease, or holding over, if either tenant or landlord asks for a jury trial, tenant must pay into an escrow account all rent as it becomes due during the course of the action.
If a tenant, a family member or guest or someone under the tenant's control in public, Section 8, or HUD Housing is involved in criminal activity, the housing authority does not have to provide a hearing before filing a breach of lease action in District Court.
This article describes when a tenancy may be terminated in public housing, Section 8, and HUD properties.
This law provides for eviction and other remedies if any property, residential or commercial, including mobile homes, is being used for drug-related activity.
Distress for rent is a court procedure in which the landlord seeks to seize and sell certain of the tenant's possessions which are on the leased premises.
Maryland state law prohibits the landlord from taking possession of the premises or tenant’s property without legal process. Should a lockout occur, the tenant has the right to hire a locksmith, change the locks, re-enter the premises, and hold the landlord responsible for the cost involved.
One of the facts of life in a rental situation is that there is no substitute for a good landlord or a good tenant. Laws can define the relationship and the responsibilities of each party but there are always situations that are best resolved by being decent, courteous and fair.

Landlord/Tenant - For Landlords

This article describes when a landlord can enter a rental property, and details the tenant's privacy rights.
Landlords must assure that tenants get possession of the premises, but retain a right to enter the premises for reasonable purposes.
Landlords are responsible to collect and handle security deposits in strict compliance with the law, to maintain certain records and receipts, and to post or provide certain information for tenants.
The business of owning and managing residential rental property is much like any business. It takes research, planning and knowledge. As a Maryland landlord, it is important that you know the federal, state and local laws governing the landlord tenant relationship.
If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, it is important to know the federal, state, and local laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship. This article will suggest some guidelines and resources.

Landlord/Tenant - For Tenants

This article describes when a landlord can enter a rental property, and details the tenant's privacy rights.
A sublease is an agreement in which the original tenant leases to a subtenant all or part of the rented premises for all or part of the remainder of the original tenant's term.
Landlords must assure that tenants get possession of the premises, but retain a right to enter the premises for reasonable purposes.
This article describes the reasons to and how to get renter's insurance.
This law provides standards for the protection of consumers, including tenants and prospective tenants of residential property.
The tax relief provided by this law is based on a calculation that includes your total income and the actual amount paid as occupancy rent.
You have a right to carefully inspect an apartment or house before you put a deposit on it and especially before you sign a lease.
Sharing an apartment with a friend or an acquaintance can be fun and economically worthwhile. Such sharing can also create some interesting problems.
You can use the list of questions below to check an apartment before you move in.
One of the facts of life in a rental situation is that there is no substitute for a good landlord or a good tenant. Laws can define the relationship and the responsibilities of each party but there are always situations that are best resolved by being decent, courteous and fair.

Landlord/Tenant - General

This article defines what a security deposit is and what is required of tenants and landlords.
Questions and Answers from Maryland Legal Aid's Maryland Senior Legal Hotline
Laws give victims of domestic violence in rental housing added protections.
A “residential lease” is a contract between a landlord and a renter, giving the renter the right to live in a house or apartment. This article gives a brief outline of several common concepts having to do with residential leases, and the duties of landlords and renters.

Landlord/Tenant - Leases

A lease is any oral or written agreement, express or implied, creating a landlord-tenant relationship.
Lease option agreements give tenants the option of purchasing the property.
This article defines what a security deposit is and what is required of tenants and landlords.
A lease is a contract. A minor is generally not bound by his or her contracts. This means that, if a minor enters into a contract, the law will allow the minor to "void" the contract.
The law limits the amount of rent active military personnel have to pay if they are transferred.
There are times when a tenant needs a co-signer. Sometimes a tenant, through frugal spending habits, can actually pay the required rent, but doesn’t meet the basic income requirements of the industry.

Landlord/Tenant - Local Laws

When a landlord delays unreasonably or refuses to repair a condition which threatens the life, health or safety of the tenant, the rent escrow law provides several remedies, including the payment of rent into court so that the accumulated funds may be used to pay for repairs.
Where there are certain serious defects in a dwelling and the landlord has failed to correct them within a reasonable time, this law permits the tenant to pay the rent into court so that funds may accumulate and be used to pay for needed repairs.
The following laws and rules apply only to residents and property in Anne Arundel County. The following does not apply to any other areas of Maryland.
Special Laws that apply to Montgomery County and cities within.
The following laws and rules apply only to residents or property in Prince George’s County. Note that the following rules apply only to Prince George’s County, and do not apply to any other areas of Maryland.
Special laws for landlord/tenant issues
This law provides that before any voluntary transfer of title, such as a sale, of a single-family residential rental property takes place, the tenant of that property has the right of first refusal to purchase it.
In all residential leases in Baltimore City, whether oral or written, it is implied that the landlord covenants and warrants that the dwelling is fit for human habitation.
How to raise your concerns at a Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals hearing in Baltimore City.
Baltimore City has a number of special laws regarding lead paint abatement.
Baltimore City has a law proscribing how a landlord may dispose of a former tenant's possessions after the tenant has been evicted.
The following laws and rules about rental housing property apply specifically to residents and property in Baltimore County. Rules not covered here may be covered by other Maryland law.
In March 2017, Montgomery County law changed to include more responsibilities for landlords. This article summarizes the changes.
The Prince George's County Housing Code sets minimum standards for all structures intended or used for human habitation.
Powers of the Human Relations Commission to eliminate discriminatory practices in housing in Prince George's County.
Rental and housing laws vary from county to county. Local laws are one of the three different types of law that may apply to your rental or housing situation.

Landlord/Tenant - Property Conditions

During the tenancy, the tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of the premises.
Tenants must return the premises at the end of the tenancy in substantially the same condition as when they moved in.
Residential requirements for smoke alarms and sprinkler systems
Maryland and federal laws about lead paint are designed to reduce childhood lead poisoning while maintaining affordable rental housing. These laws provide rights and duties for renters and property owners in pre-1978 residential rental properties/units (“Affected Properties”).
When a tenant vacates a property, items which have been so attached to or associated with the property that they are considered part of the property may not be removed by the tenant.
Landlords have responsibility to use ordinary care to keep common areas in safe condition.
The law requires some residential properties to have carbon monoxide alarms.

Landlord/Tenant - Public Housing

All of the Maryland rules governing landlord and tenant relations in privately owned rentals also apply, however, there are some added protections that only apply to section 8, HUD, and public housing.
Terminating a lease in Public, HUD, or Section 8 housing must follow correct procedure.
This article describes when a tenancy may be terminated in public housing, Section 8, and HUD properties.
This article includes a brief comparison of the types of rules that apply to tenants based on the type of government subsidy received.
Section 8 tenants receive vouchers to cover the cost of rent or to pay reduced rent. Vouchers may also be used to buy a house.

Landlord/Tenant - Rent Court

Rent escrow provides a process through which a tenant pays rent into a court account instead of to the landlord until the landlord makes needed repairs. You can file a petition to establish a rent escrow account in your local District Court by filling out a "Petition in Action of Rent Escrow" form.
The article describes the process of going to rent court. Landlords can take their tenants to rent court to evict them for nonpayment of rent.
This article lists many question you might have with rent escrow.
Explanations of common lawsuits between Landlords and Tenants.

Landlord/Tenant - Transfers

A sublease is an agreement in which the original tenant leases to a subtenant all or part of the rented premises for all or part of the remainder of the original tenant's term.
Covers what happens when the property is sold, there is a tax sale, or the property is converted to a condominium.
Laws passed in the wake of the foreclosure crisis beginning in 2008 give more protection to tenants in foreclosed properties.
The condominium system of separate ownership of the individual units of multi-unit dwellings has become increasingly common since it was introduced in the United States in the 1950's. In Maryland, the owner of any property - an occupied apartment building as well as vacant, unimproved land - may subject that property to condominium ownership by following the procedure prescribed by law.

Long-term Care

An ombudsman is a third party that acts to investigate and resolve complaints involving residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman is an advocate whose goal is to promote the highest possible quality of life for residents.
Assisted living is a residential program that provides housing, supervision, personal care services, health related services, or a combination of these to residents who are unable to perform activities of daily living or who need help performing them.
Your treatment, care and services must be adequate, appropriate, and promote your social, emotional, physical and spiritual health. For example, you have a right to a service plan based on an assessment of your needs; you also have a right to three meals and additional snacks each day.
This article describes the rights that nursing home residents have under state and federal law and regulations.

Mobile Homes

Special issues and protections for mobile home owners who lease or rent a site for residential use and reside in a mobile home park.
Special provisions in the law for evicting mobile home park residents, rent escrow, and damages for violations of the lease provisions.
Laws for when a mobile home changes hands or needs to move.
Mobile homes parks have specific laws for right of entry.