Have you been staring at a blank document, wondering what to include in your lease agreement? You're probably not alone. Many new landlords have trouble drawing up their first Maryland lease agreement.
However, with a bit of guidance and the right tools, you'll be drawing up detailed rental agreements in no time! Here's everything you need to know to create the perfect Maryland lease agreement.
Lease agreements are written contracts between landlords and tenants that describe the terms and conditions of a rental property lease. Once signed by both parties, the agreement becomes legally binding, and the tenant and landlord are obligated to abide by its terms.
After signing the agreement, the tenant will be required to pay the first month's rent and the security deposit, if applicable, and is allowed access to the property from the beginning of the lease term.
There are a number of rental agreements that apply in Maryland. We've summarized the most common types in the section below.
Standard Residential Lease Contract
The Maryland standard residential rental contract is for tenants and landlords looking for a fixed-term contract (typically one year), with rent installments due on the first of every month.
Maryland Commercial Lease Agreement
A commercial rental agreement is a legally binding contract that requires an individual or company to pay a property owner monthly rent for the use of retail, office, or industrial space.
Before drawing up this type of agreement, it is vital that landlords authenticate businesses via the Secretary of State's database.
A sublease arrangement is uncommon among lease agreements. It applies when an existing tenant chooses to rent space that is currently leased to them.
This arrangement could be for the entire leased space to be rented or for a part of the unit to be shared. Through an agreement with the landlord, the original renter is fully responsible for all expenditures and damages to the property.
What to Include
Wondering what you'll be required to include in your rental agreement? Here's a list of important things you'll need to include:
- Names and contact details of all parties involved
- A statement concerning the condition of the property
- Information about the security deposit and how it will be managed
- Rent - the amount and when it is due every month
- Late fees for returned checks or late payments
- Mandatory disclosures
- The procedure for repairs and maintenance
- Illegal practices
- Lease termination and the eviction process
According to state law, landlords must make certain disclosures when drawing up a lease agreement. We'll walk you through each of them so you understand your obligations.
Landlord/Property Owner's Details and the Security Deposit Receipt
Landlords, property owners, and anybody permitted to act on behalf of a landlord must submit their names and address so that future legal notifications and requests received by the tenant can be delivered appropriately. The tenant is usually given this information in the lease contract.
Moreover, landlords in Maryland must issue a receipt after receiving security deposits. Maximum amounts that landlords may charge as a security deposit is equivalent to the value of two months' rent.
Here are some of the things you'll need to include in this security deposit receipt:
- The tenant has a right to have the dwelling unit inspected by the landlord, and a move-in checklist is to be completed within the first 15 days
- Conditions for the return of the security deposit within 45 days must be explicitly stated, and the right to receive an itemized list of deductions
- The landlord has a right to inspect the rental property while the tenant is present and complete a move-out checklist
- A statement indicating that the landlord will be liable for three times the value of the security deposit if he or she fails to follow the law regarding deposits
Habitability and Safety Disclosure
All rental contracts in Maryland must include a declaration about the state of the property in terms of safety and habitability, according to state law.
Any other agreements made between the landlord and prospective tenant concerning the habitability of rental units must be explicitly stated in the lease agreement.
According to federal law, all landlords whose homes were built before 1978 must inform tenants of potential hazards.
Build Your Own
When creating your agreement, you could choose to use a free form. However, these forms are pretty limiting, so if you want more freedom to customize your lease contract, you could choose a lease builder like the one offered by eForms.
This is a basic rental contract generator, so you may not have the freedom to customize it as you please. Fortunately, DoorLoop has an innovative tool to help you create the perfect residential lease agreement.
With professional templates and the ability to customize your contract to your heart's content, you'll find DoorLoop to be an essential tool for your rental business.
What Is DoorLoop?
DoorLoop is an automation software solution designed to help business owners create lease contracts, send them to clients, and manage and track payments. It also allows you to accept rental applications, conduct tenant screening, and more!
Plus, you can use autofill to include details such as names and addresses, saving you time and preventing human error.
You can see DoorLoop at work for yourself by scheduling a demo.
With DoorLoop, eSignatures can get done in just a handful of clicks, but that isn't all–you can also create lease templates that are reusable and autofilled with each tenant's information. That brings the entire lease creation and signing process down to a few minutes instead of hours.
Your tenant's experience on your property starts with signing their lease, so it's a great idea to make the process super easy and efficient wherever possible. DoorLoop does that and more, streamlining applications and screening so that everything is as efficient as possible from day one.
DoorLoop also integrates with top listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more, letting you attract tenants on autopilot. You can also make sure you're bringing in the most reliable tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through an integration with TransUnion.
For more info about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.
At first, drafting a lease contract may seem overwhelming. There's a lot to consider, and you'll need to make sure it complies with state and federal laws. Fortunately, DoorLoop can assist you in efficiently managing your rental contracts and creating customized professional agreements.
What Is a Maryland rental application?
A landlord may utilize a rental before leasing a residential property, application to acquire information about a prospective tenant's profession, and credit history to confirm that they are a suitable choice.
Is there a grace period for rent in Maryland?
No, there is no grace period in Maryland - rent is due on the day it is due. If it is late, late fees apply.
Do I have to notarize my Maryland rental lease agreement?
In Maryland, rental contracts do not have to be notarized. A lease is a legal contract as long as it has been signed and agreed upon by the tenant and landlord.
If your tenant breaches the agreement, you could enlist the help of licensed attorneys. However, it is important to remember that you will have to pay reasonable attorney's fees.