Right of Possession and Right of Entry
Right of Possession
The landlord is required to make sure that the tenant is able to move in to the premises at the beginning of the lease.
If the landlord fails to provide tenant with possession at the beginning of the term, tenant will not owe any rent until they take possession. If the tenant is not able to take possession at the start of the term, the tenant may cancel the lease by providing written notice. The landlord must then return to tenant any money or property given as security deposit, prepaid rent, or other deposit.
Whether the tenant terminates the lease or not, the tenant may collect from the landlord any consequential (resulting) damages actually suffered after notifying the landlord of the inability to take possession of the property. The tenant has a duty to minimize losses. See the Mitigation of Damages section of the Breach of Lease article. Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-204
Right of Entry by Landlord and Tenant's Right to Privacy
The tenant has a reasonable right of privacy; that is, the landlord does not have the right to enter the premises at any time and for any reason. If the landlord does this, he may be guilty of trespassing.
However, the landlord has a right of reasonable entry for such purposes as to inspect the premises, make repairs, show the premises to a prospective new tenant, etc. Except in case of emergency, landlords are advised to notify the tenant and reach a mutually acceptable agreement about the specific time of entry.
The balance between tenant's right to privacy and landlord's right of entry can usually be reached by a fair and reasonable agreement between tenant and landlord.
In Prince George's County: A landlord is required to give a tenant 24 hours notice before entering the premises except in cases of emergency. The landlord must enter during normal business hours or at a mutually agreed upon time. Read the Law: Prince George's County Code § 13-155