lease-provisions

Maryland Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 11.06.2023

Understanding Maryland Security Deposit Law: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants

When renting a property in Maryland, both landlords and tenants need to be aware of the state’s security deposit laws. These regulations are in place to protect both parties and ensure that the rental process is fair and transparent. In this article, we’ll break down the critical aspects of Maryland security deposit law, providing landlords and tenants with the knowledge they need to navigate the rental landscape confidently.

What is a Security Deposit in Maryland?

In Maryland, a security deposit is a sum of money a tenant gives to a landlord before moving into a rental property. This deposit acts as financial security for the landlord in case of damage to the property or unpaid rent. The law specifies how much a landlord can charge, how to store the deposit, and how to return it when the tenant moves out.

Maximum Security Deposit Limit

In Maryland, landlords can charge a maximum of two months’ rent as a security deposit. Charging more than this amount is illegal and can result in penalties.

Storing the Security Deposit

Landlords must store tenants’ security deposits in a separate, dedicated bank account in Maryland. This account should be within a regulated financial institution and accrue interest at the daily U.S. Treasury yield curve rate for one year, as per the Federal Reserve. 

Landlords must notify tenants in writing of the bank location and deposit receipt within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Interest on Security Deposits

Maryland law also requires landlords to pay tenants interest on their security deposits. The interest rate is simple interest accrued at daily U.S. Treasury yield curve rates. Landlords should pay this interest—or a $25 credit, whichever is more—annually and at the end of the tenancy.

Deductions and Damages

Upon a tenant moving out, landlords have the right to inspect the property and make deductions from the security deposit for unpaid rent, damages beyond normal wear and tear, and other breaches of the lease agreement. However, they cannot retain any portion of the deposit for everyday wear and tear.

Returning the Deposit

Landlords have 45 days after the end of the tenancy to return the security deposit with an itemized list of any deductions. If the landlord fails to return the deposit or provide the list within this timeframe, the tenant could be entitled to up to three times the withheld amount plus reasonable attorney’s fees.

Walk-Through Inspections

Maryland’s security deposit law also allows tenants to request a walk-through inspection before moving out. The landlord must then inform the tenant of the damages they observe, providing the tenant with an opportunity to remedy the issues before the final inspection.

Disputes Over Security Deposits

If a dispute arises over the security deposit, Maryland tenants can turn to the Consumer Protection Division or file a claim in small claims court. Involving an attorney can also be beneficial for navigating the dispute resolution process.

The Importance of Understanding Maryland Security Deposit Law

Both landlords and tenants must understand and abide by Maryland’s security deposit law. By knowing these regulations, tenants can protect their rights and ensure they receive their full deposit upon moving out, provided they have adhered to the terms of their lease. Similarly, landlords can avoid legal pitfalls and ensure a harmonious relationship with their tenants.

Remember, the above information is based on the current regulations up to the knowledge cutoff in January 2022. Always check the latest statutes or consult a legal expert for the most recent information and legal advice.

Disclaimer

Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.

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Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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