What Happens if You Can’t Pay Your Rent?

As a rental tenant in Baltimore, it’s important to understand your rights and your landlord’s rights in the state of Maryland. While on-time rent payments are always encouraged, life circumstances can sometimes arise that make on-time or full payments impossible. 

In general, landlords and property managers have the power to forgive occasional late rent payments if they choose to. However, on-time rent payments are typically required per most rental lease agreements. This means that Maryland landlords can take legal action when tenants are unable to pay rent. 

Failure to Pay Rent in Maryland

If a tenant fails to pay rent in Maryland, landlords can go to court to ask for eviction of their tenant. The procedure of rental tenant eviction is called a summary ejectment, and the court cases are typically called failure to pay rent cases.  (more…)

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Evictions: 30-Day Notice in Maryland

Although your goal as a Maryland property owner is to find reliable and long-term tenants, there might come a time when you have to pursue an eviction. Either due to nonpayment or extensive property damage, an eviction might be the best way forward. Here are the conditions in which you can evict a tenant with a 30-day notice. 

The Non-Payment of Rent

You or your property manager can evict a tenant who hasn’t paid their rent on time. This is a useful tool when the rent due date has come and gone and you haven’t received communication from your tenant. The 30-day notice gives the tenant a chance to stop the eviction process by paying the amount owed before the sheriff arrives to enforce their eviction. (more…)

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How to Handle Maintenance on Your Rental Property

As a landlord, the responsibility of maintaining your rental property falls to you. This includes everything from making minor repairs to complying with building codes to dealing with major disasters. 

It’s imperative to take care of maintenance issues promptly to avoid more serious problems and repairs down the road. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Rental Property

But what’s the best way to handle the maintenance of your rental property? Since upkeep can be time-consuming, costly, and labor-intensive, many landlords prefer to let a professional property management company handle it. (more…)

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Making the Perfect Rental Agreement in Maryland

Renting out your property can be a solid way to keep your income flowing. Managing your property includes many aspects, including having rental agreements in place. To make the perfect rental agreement in Maryland, you must keep some things in mind.

Things to Consider When Drawing Up a Rental Agreement

There are numerous resources available to help you create a rental agreement in Maryland, from templates to attorneys to professional management companies. You’ll need to ensure that several vital components and clauses are included in your agreement. (more…)

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Tips for Preventing Tenant Damages

Even the best tenant might inadvertently damage your property. These damages can cost you time and money in addition to creating frustration. You can reduce the stress of worrying about potential damages when you take steps to ensure your tenant will take better care of your property.  

Thoroughly Vet Prospective Tenants

Set up a process for researching each applicant to ensure you get a better quality tenant. This process should include background checks in addition to credit checks and reference checks. Before approving a tenant, you should verify that the individual has a good rental history and has the ability to make rent payments on time. (more…)

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What Is the Fair Housing Act in Maryland?

Each state in the U.S. has its own laws regarding fair housing. In Maryland, article 20-702 of the Annotated Code of Maryland addresses this issue. If you are an owner of rental property in the state, you must familiarize yourself with this section of Maryland law. 

Knowing what practices are illegal will help you abide by the law and avoid complex legal disputes in the future.  

How Does Maryland Define Housing Discrimination?

The Fair Housing Act in Maryland makes it illegal to refuse housing to any qualified renter. This law includes prohibiting the property manager from using discriminatory terms in publishing rental vacancy announcements. 

Additionally, the property owners can’t claim that a rental unit isn’t available for inspection or rent when it is actually vacant and available. (more…)

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Does Your Rental Meet Safety Standards?

Keeping your rental property in good condition requires more than just making it look attractive to prospective tenants. Each time a unit becomes vacant, take the time to perform a basic safety inspection to ensure your new tenants can live safely in the dwelling while reducing your liability and risk of facing state fines. 

Is It Time for a Lead Inspection?

Every two years, you will need an accredited contractor to perform a visual and dust inspection for lead, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment. Once the contractor approves the inspection, you will receive a temporary lead-free certification for the unit.  (more…)

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What Is Considered Normal Wear and Tear of a Rental Property?

As a property owner, your goal in collecting a security deposit from each tenant is to cover the costs of repairing extensive damage. This requires knowing how to tell the difference between excessive damage and normal wear and tear. Once you understand this difference, you can fairly apply your use of the tenant’s security deposit. 

What to Expect from Walls and Flooring

The most obvious changes to your rental property will appear on the floors and walls. For example, it’s common to see peeling or faded wallpaper. Painted walls may also peel or crack over time. Worn carpeting or scuff marks on vinyl flooring are more common types of wear and tear damage.

Anything more serious requires assigning blame to the tenant and using their security deposit for the repairs. This includes holes in the walls, burns in the carpet, or torn vinyl flooring. (more…)

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How Often Should You Inspect Your Rental Property?

From time to time, it will be necessary to have your rental property inspected. Such inspections will help you protect your property while ensuring your tenants are living under safe conditions. When done on a regular basis, the inspections can save you money by identifying repair issues early.

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for an Inspection?

The average cost of a property rental inspection is $250. It is an expense that you can’t deduct from the tenant’s security deposit, so it’s important to add this sum to your budget. Make sure to ask about these fees before hiring someone to inspect your rental property, as some companies may charge more. (more…)

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What Should a Landlord Charge for Security Deposits?

Before you rent out your property for the first time, take the time to outline all of the expectations you’ll have for your tenants. These terms will go into the lease, and they should include any upfront deposits you’ll expect a new tenant to pay. Knowing how much to charge a tenant in advance will ensure you remain consistent with each of your renters. 

What Is the Typical Security Deposit?

In most cases, a property owner should charge the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security deposit. That amount should be enough to cover any damages that go beyond the normal wear and tear that results from the use of the unit. Alternatively, the deposit should be enough to cover the rent for one month if a tenant unexpectedly vacates in violation of the rental agreement or lease. The agreement should specify the amount requested as the security deposit. (more…)

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