A Maryland Lease Agreement is a set of terms agreed to by the landlord and the tenant regarding the use of property situated in the state of Maryland. The said use is for a fixed period of time, usually one year, and for a fixed amount of rent. The agreement contains obligations of each party and other such conditions pertaining to the use of the property. Since different states in the United States of America have a unique set of laws, the agreement must be in conformity with the laws of the state of Maryland.
Purpose of a Maryland Lease Agreement
A Maryland lease agreement serves as a formal proof of landlord-tenant relationship between the parties. Having this agreement in place ensures that the parties understand their obligations and there is no scope for ambiguity. The purpose of this agreement is to clearly lay down the conditions under which both the parties will operate during the subsistence of the lease. For example, a landlord typically cannot increase the rent until the lease ends nor can he evict the tenant without following proper procedures prescribed by law. The tenant, on the other hand, is under an obligation to pay the rent for the entire term of the lease. In case of a dispute the agreement serves as a primary source to attribute liability. Thus, it protects the interests of both the parties.
Key Terms of Maryland Lease Agreement
Some of the key terms to be included in the agreement are:
- Date when the agreement was entered into
- Names of the parties involved- This clause should contain the legal names of the parties involved so that they can be identified clearly.
- Identification of the property with its complete address
- Term of the lease
- Security deposit to be paid by the tenant
- People who will occupy the property
- Amount of rent
- Obligations of the tenant
- Obligations of the landlord
- Use of the property
- No sub-letting permitted
- Repairs and maintenance by the tenant
- Landlord’s right to enter the property
- Pet policies
- Grounds for terminating the lease
- Circumstances when lease can be legally terminated
- Penalties for late payment of rent
- Notice of eviction
- Agent authorized by the landlord to act on his behalf
- Applicable law to be the law of the state of Maryland
Drafting a Maryland Lease Agreement
It must be kept in mind that all the terms of the agreement should comply with the laws of the state of Maryland. The process to draft the lease agreement is as follows:
- Both the parties should first decide the nature of the lease agreement- whether it is commercial or residential.
- Term of the lease- The parties shall decide the duration for which the lease shall subsist. This clause should include the date from which the lease begins and the date on which it comes to an end.
- Rent- Both parties should agree to the amount of rent that will be paid for the duration of the lease. This clause should contain the monthly rent that a tenant has to pay. It should also include the mode of payment and to whom the rent has to be paid.
- Security deposit- This clause should be drafted in a manner that includes the amount of security deposit to be paid by the tenant to the landlord, reasons for deduction of money from the security deposit at the end of the lease and mode of returning the security deposit.
- The parties should decide the number of people who can occupy the property during the period of the lease.
- Both parties have to then decide their rights and obligations. The obligations can be spread out to different clauses such as utilities, use of the property and repairs and maintenance.
- If there are any restrictions to the usage of the property, they should be included in a separate clause.
- Ensure that the terms of the lease agreement do not violate any provision of Maryland state law. If the landlord tries to enforce a prohibited provision, the tenant is entitled to claim damages.
- Under the laws of the state of Maryland, if the property was built before 1978, the landlord is obligated to furnish proof to the tenant that the property was professionally inspected and is safe.
- Decide the grounds for terminating the lease and consequences if the tenant breaks the lease agreement.
- Ensure that the agreement is duly signed by both the parties and the date of signing is mentioned.
Types of Maryland Lease Agreement
The following are the most common types of lease agreements in Maryland:
- Standard residential lease agreement: Used for leasing property for residential purposes. They generally have a start and end date.
- Commercial lease agreement: Used for the purpose of business such as retail or office space.
- Month-to-month agreement: This lease agreement can be terminated by either party after giving a notice of at least thirty days.
- Lease to own agreement: A standard residential lease agreement with an option to buy the property.
- Roommate agreement: Roommate agreement between individuals sharing a household to prescribe their respective obligations.
Sample for Maryland Lease Agreement
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