Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Under Maryland Law
Every state has its own laws defining relationships between landlord and tenant, which vary from one state to another. Here is a brief description of some of those laws in Maryland.
The landlord may retain an rental application fee--defined as any fee excluding security deposits that the landlord collects prior to the signing of the lease, to cover the costs of processing the application form--to a maximum of $25. If he is renting five or more rental units on a single tract of property, then he is obliged to explain in the lease application the tenant's rights and responsibilities if the application fee is collected.
Tenants have the right to cancel the lease if the landlord refuses to allow them to take possession of the property being rented when the renting period begins. And until the lease expires, the tenant is obliged to pay the full rent for that period, even if he or she leaves the property, unless he can find another tenant to occupy it and pay for the remainder. The landlord can also hold the tenant responsible for paying the costs of finding a new tenant.
Other laws cover repair requirements. Should the landlord fail to remedy potentially dangerous or unhealthy conditions such as rats and other vermin, defects in the architectural form that could cause injury, or fire hazards, then the tenant may deposit the rent money into an escrow account instead of paying it; and if, after receiving written notice of the danger by the tenant or by a government agency, then the tenant may file an escrow action in court.