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Maryland Landlord-Tenant Law: The 30-Day Notice

The 30-Day Notice to Vacate is one of the most important aspects of Maryland Landlord-Tenant Laws, but most people don’t know all it entails. In this article, we explain what the “30-day notice” is in Maryland tenant-landlord law and what types of lease termination policies every landlord should know.

Maryland Landlord-Tenant Laws: What is the 30-Day Notice?

Property managers in Baltimore commonly use a catch-all term, “30-Day Notice” – but what exactly does that mean? A 30-Day Notice is primarily used by landlords when a breach of lease is discovered. This written notice informs the tenant that they have 30 days to vacate the premises before formal eviction measures are taken.

Common Reasons Landlords Can Issue a 30-Day Notice to Vacate

  • Evidence of illegal activity on the property, such as drug offenses
  • Destruction of the property
  • Serious or continuous noise complaints
  • Unauthorized occupants in the rental home

Maryland landlord-tenant laws require landlords to adhere to strict notice periods to protect the rights of the tenant, but also ensure a smooth court process if the matter escalates.

How to Deliver a 30-Day Notice to Vacate

  1. Hand Deliver – Provide the notice directly to the tenant on the premises.
  2. Post and Mail – If you cannot reach the tenant in person, post the notice to the door of the premises. In this case, you’ll also want to mail a copy to the property address.
  3. Certified Mail – Send the notice via certified mail and request a return receipt for proof of delivery.

Just remember, if you decide to mail the notice, just be sure to factor in the time it takes for the tenant to receive it through the postal service.

Lease Termination Notice Requirements for Landlords and Tenants

There are many circumstances that could warrant a lease termination, whether from the landlord or tenant. Additionally, it’s important for all parties to understand and follow the terms of the rental agreement along with any applicable local or state laws. While these terms may vary, here are a few examples of standard notice periods when a landlord needs to end a lease agreement.

Standard Notice Periods for Ending a Lease as a Landlord

  • Week to Week Leases – While uncommon, these short-term leases require a notice period of at least 7 days if the tenant plans to vacate.
  • Month-to Month Leases – Typically, a month-to-month lease requires landlords to provide 60-days’ notice depending on the terms of the agreement.
  • Annual Leases – Terminating or non-renewing a standard 12-month lease requires 90 days’ notice.
  • No Written Lease – Although this is never recommended, there are times landlords and tenants may not have a valid written lease. If so, the law requires a 21-day notice period.

On the other hand, if a tenant decides to end their lease, notice requirements in Maryland are as follows:

Standard Notice Periods for Ending a Lease as a Tenant

  • Week to Week Leases – While uncommon, these short-term leases require a notice period of at least 30 days if the tenant plans to vacate.
  • Month-to Month Leases – Typically, a month-to-month lease requires 30-days’ notice from the tenant. However, some leases may stipulate up to 60-days’ notice.
  • Annual Leases – A standard 12-month lease usually requires 90 days’ notice.

Notice to Vacate Law Exceptions in Baltimore

Every jurisdiction has its own requirements, rights, and responsibilities when it comes to notice periods in rental situations. For instance, in Baltimore, there are specific tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities. Tenants in Baltimore must give a minimum of 30-days’ notice to landlords, as well as a 72 hours’ notice before physically moving out. In turn, Baltimore landlords must give tenants either a written 30-days’ notice or 60-days’ notice, depending on the context.

There are circumstances when a landlord does not have to issue a written notice of lease termination, including –

  • Year-to-year tenant has provided a 90-day oral notice to vacate.
  • For other leases besides annual, the tenant provided an oral termination notice at least 30 days prior to the end of the lease.

However, it is always advised to follow up oral agreements or discussions with some form of written proof. As a landlord, maintaining records of tenant interactions can be invaluable, especially if a conflict or dispute arises.

Are There Tenants Who Can Get Out of a Lease Early?

In addition to a few exceptions for landlords, there are tenant situations that also warrant special consideration under the law. Tenants that may be entitled to special renter’s rights include –

  • Sexual Assault or Domestic Violence Survivors – Survivors who deliver a protective or peace order, a third-party reference letter, and a notice to vacate can break the rental agreement early.
  • Individuals with Certain Medical Conditions – People with certain medical conditions who have a date of departure notice and a doctor’s note can break the lease agreement early.
  • Tenants with Unpreventable Property Damage – People whose rented property has unpreventable accident damage, such as damage from a hurricane or fire.
  • Active Military – Active military individuals who receive deployment or reassignment papers must provide a 30-day written notice to vacate along with copies of their orders to the landlord.

What Happens if the Landlord or Tenant Passes Away?

In the unfortunate event that a landlord or tenant passes away, it’s vital to understand what that means for the remainder of the lease. Unless there is a specific provision in the lease, Maryland law dictates that the death of either party does not automatically terminate the rental agreement.

If the landlord passes away, the lease simply continues under their successor. However, if the tenant passes away, the estate of the deceased is still liable for the remainder of the lease obligations and responsibilities.

Need Help Navigating Landlord-Tenant Issues?

Feeling overwhelmed by all the rules and regulations landlords need to understand and adhere to? Well, Bay Property Management Group can help! Our team has years of experience handling Maryland tenant-landlord laws. So, if you are looking for efficient tenant services from leasing to maintenance requests, and even eviction – contact us today to discover our services in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Washington, DC.  That way, you can spend less time worrying about law compliance and more on making the most of your rental business!