Maryland Rent Increase Laws: What Tenants Should Know

Renting a property in Maryland can be a great option for many people, but it also comes with some challenges and uncertainties. One of the most common questions that tenants have is how much and how often their landlord can raise their rent. In this article, we will explain the general rules and regulations regarding rent increases in Maryland, as well as some exceptions and tips for tenants.

General Rules for Rent Increases in Maryland

Maryland does not have any statewide rent control laws, which means that landlords can generally charge any amount of rent that they want, as long as they follow some basic rules:

1.) Landlords must give proper notice before raising the rent. The length of notice depends on the type of lease:

For a year lease, landlords must give at least 90 days’ notice before the end of the lease term .

For a month-to-month lease, landlords must give at least 60 days’ notice before the next rent payment is due.

For a week-to-week oral lease, landlords must give at least 21 days’ notice before the next rent payment is due .

2.) Landlords cannot raise the rent during the fixed term of a lease, unless the lease agreement allows for it. For example, some leases may have a clause that allows the landlord to adjust the rent based on changes in the cost of living or other factors.

3.) Landlords cannot raise the rent for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. For example, landlords cannot increase the rent because of the tenant’s race, gender, religion, or disability, or because the tenant complained about the condition of the property or joined a tenants’ association .

Exceptions and Tips for Tenants

While the above rules apply to most rental properties in Maryland, there are some exceptions and variations that tenants should be aware of:

Some cities and counties in Maryland have their own rent control laws or regulations that limit the amount or frequency of rent increases. For example, Takoma Park has a rent stabilization ordinance that sets a maximum annual rent increase based on the Consumer Price Index, and requires 60 days’ notice for any rent increase. Tenants should check with their local government or housing authority to see if there are any rent control measures in their area.

Some rental properties may be exempt from the general rules or the local rent control laws, depending on the type, age, or ownership of the property. For example, single-family homes, accessory structures, duplexes where the owner lives in one unit, and properties built after 1980 are exempt from Takoma Park’s rent stabilization ordinance. Tenants should read their lease agreement carefully and ask their landlord if there are any exemptions or special conditions that apply to their property.

Tenants have the right to challenge or negotiate a rent increase if they believe it is unfair, illegal, or unreasonable. Tenants can try to talk to their landlord and explain why they think the rent increase is unjustified or excessive, and propose a lower or alternative amount. Tenants can also contact a local tenants’ association, legal aid organization, or housing counselor for advice or assistance. Tenants can also file a complaint with the appropriate agency or court if they suspect that the rent increase is discriminatory or retaliatory.


Rent increases are a common and sometimes unavoidable part of renting a property in Maryland. However, tenants have some rights and protections that can help them deal with rent increases and avoid being exploited or evicted. Tenants should know the general rules and regulations regarding rent increases in Maryland, as well as the exceptions and tips that apply to their specific situation. By being informed and proactive, tenants can ensure that they pay a fair and reasonable rent for their property.

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