Maryland has historically been a favorable place for both landlords and tenants, providing them protections and regulations. These relatively lax precepts help maintain a positive relationship between landlord and tenant without limiting a landlord's ability to create a competitive rental profile. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Maryland's rental regulations so you can price yours competitively and within legal limits.
General Precepts for Renting in Maryland
Maryland is relatively hands-off with its rental regulations but does require landlords to maintain habitable units and make requested repairs within a "reasonable" time frame. This is typically interpreted as within 30 days except for essential repairs, such as those to plumbing, air conditioning, or the electrical system. However, unlike in most states, Maryland tenants are not allowed to make repairs on their own and deduct the expenses from rent if the request is not met. Instead, they must wait for the landlord to respond or go to local authorities for unmet requests.
Laws Regarding Rent Increases
Maryland does not allow rent control statewide, nor does it require notice for a rent increase by a certain time unless specified by the county. Therefore, Maryland landlords may increase the rent as often as they see fit as soon as a lease is over or up for renewal. However, Maryland landlords must adhere to their written leases and may not increase the rent within the lease term. Maryland also limits late fees to less than 5% of the rental amount.
Cities and Counties With Rent Increase Regulations
While Maryland does not have statewide rent control, they do allow cities and counties to put limits on rent prices, notices, increases, and more. Below are some of the city or county-wide regulations imposed on certain Maryland areas.
- Montgomery County requires 90 day's notice for a rent increase and limits rent increases to once per year
- Baltimore City requires 60 days' notice for rent increase
- Takoma Park requires 60 days' notice for rent increases, allows rent increases only once per year, and limits the price increase based on yearly reports
Baltimore county releases the annual Consumer Price Index for the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, which provides recommendations for rental rates based on yearly trends and historical data. Takoma Park establishes its rental increase allowance based on these numbers, as do most landlords in the Baltimore area.
Average Rental Rate in Maryland
Maryland is ranked the 8th highest in the country for average rental rates. The Fair Market Rent ranges between $700 and $1,700 for apartments and homes for rent. However, rental rates in Maryland's most densely populated areas are much higher.
In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area, the average rental rate for a studio apartment is $1,513 per month and $2,742 per month for a four-bedroom home or apartment. This is much higher than the state average of $1,256 per month, which is on par for most two-bedroom apartments across the state.
Price Your Rental Right With RentSpree
Maryland offers a competitive landscape for rental units, especially in its major metropolitan areas. If you are interested in leveling up your rental properties in Maryland, talk to a RentSpree representative to learn more about what we can do for you.
RentSpree offers a rent estimator tool to help you price your units, tenant screening, marketing tools, and simplified application tools you can access, all from one source. We make listing, finding tenants, and renting easy! If you'd like to simplify your property management system immediately, talk to RentSpree today to get started.