Maryland Room Rental Agreement

In Maryland, landlords must have a written lease for rental lasting more than a year. However, we recommend always having a written agreement, even if it lasts less than a year. A Maryland room rental agreement is only required when a landlord rents out a single room in their property. As such, there are various terms you must include to ensure multiple tenants get along well and respect each other and your building.

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Maryland Room Rental Agreement

As room rentals often deal with multiple lessees or limited access to a building, it’s typically slightly more complicated than a regular lease. However, don’t confuse it with a roommate agreement. Roommate contracts are informal agreements between the tenants and sub-tenants. It’s not generally something the landlord has any part in.

However, a room rental agreement is between the lessor and the lessee. You use it if you rent out a room in your personal home or when you want to rent out a house to multiple people. There are always legal aspects you should consider.

Access to the Room

  • Once both parties sign the lease, the lessee gains control over the room they’re renting. 
  • Should the lessor wish to enter the lessee’s room for maintenance, inspections, or repairs, they must provide reasonable notice, generally 24 hours. They must also receive the tenant’s consent.
  • Depending on the lease type, the tenant can access common areas. However, if the landlord is leasing a room in their personal house, there are usually severe restrictions or specific conditions in place.

Guest & Pets Policy

  • The guest and pet policies can differ depending on the lessor’s preference. Generally, since it’s a shared living space, specific limitations exist.
  • Guests are often allowed but with restrictions on how many you can entertain at a time and where they can go in the house. Often, they can only stay for a specific period.
  • Pets are often not allowed, as you share a space with other occupants. However, the lessor might add clauses that state it’s allowed if you obtain their permission and the permission of any other lessees. In that case, there’ll be guidelines on the type of pet you can have and where in the house they’re allowed.
  • Service animals are the exception, with lessors needing to accommodate them according to the ADA.

Security Deposit Regulations

  • Lessors can only charge up to two (2) months’ rent as a security deposit. Once they receive the deposit, they must provide the tenant with a security deposit receipt or face a $25 charge.
  • The landlord must bear the curve rate/1.5% per year interest on security deposits over $50. They must pay this interest annually to the tenant and keep the deposit in a federally insured account without it co-mingling with personal funds.
  • The lessor has 45 days to return the security deposit and a list of deductions.