Both sides of the rental agreement have their own responsibilities. Most of the tenants’ responsibilities are outlined in the contract, but landlords have a lot more things to worry about. They are responsible for keeping the property safe, livable and hazard-free, which is not an easy job. At Bay Property Management Group, we know how much effort goes into this maintenance, and just to give you an idea, here are some of the maintenance issues you have an obligation to take care of as a landlord.
You can use Maryland housing code and Maryland Landlord Tenant law for guidance to ensure your property meets all the requirements and is safe to rent.
Top Landlord Responsibilities
Minimal Livability Code
- Reasonably-sized living space and adequate bathrooms
- Working plumbing, electric, water, sanitation facilities and other utilities
- Structure solid and intact enough to offer privacy and protection from various weather conditions
- Adequate waste disposal means
- Emergency or alternate exits
- Fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Adequate wiring and electric
- Well-maintained equipment and appliances that don’t present a fire hazard
- No mold, pest, rodent or other infestations
- Clean and sanitary living environment
- Appropriate ventilation and good air quality
- All locks in working order
- Operable windows that can’t be opened from outside
- Door viewers in entrance doors
- Locks changed between tenancies
- Tree branches, trees and shrubbery cut when necessary
- Dead branches removed
- Level yard surface with minimal tripping hazard
- Maintained pavement and lawn
Not following the local housing codes and ignoring your landlord responsibilities may lead to many unpleasant consequences. Your tenants might terminate the contract, deduct the associated maintenance costs from the rent or even sue you for injuries incurred because of your negligence and irresponsibility.
Keep in mind that these are the general safety standards and they may vary from state to state and from county to county. When the property is rented out, your tenants are also responsible for some of the above-mentioned maintenance, such as keeping the house clean and sanitary or grooming the lawn. However, when the property is vacant, you as an owner have to take care of everything yourself. If this looks like too much work, let your local Baltimore property management company take care of your Maryland income property.