How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Maryland

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There are no statewide rent control laws in Maryland, but local ordinances help prevent your landlord from raising your rent without notice, and your landlord may not raise your rent more than once in 12 months. 
As rental prices rise across the country, tenants everywhere are experiencing raises in rent. Unfortunately, like many other states, Maryland lacks statewide rent control regulations. But, that doesn't mean your landlord can raise your rent whenever they want or for any reason. But what, exactly, is legal when it comes to rent increases, and how can you cope?
Here to answer your questions is Jerry, the insurance super app that can help you save on your renter's insurance. We’ll cover Maryland’s laws, what to do if you’re facing increased rent, and how to find the cheapest car and renters insurance. 
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How much can a landlord raise rent in Maryland?

There is no legal limit to how much your landlord can raise your rent in Maryland. 
You might be thinking, huh? How is that possible? Believe it or not, Maryland’s not alone—several states throughout the U.S. lack statewide rent control regulations, including New York, Maine, and Montana. Some cities and counties do, however, enforce local ordinances that cap rent increases and regulate a landlord’s ability to raise the rent on a property. 
But technically speaking, there’s no state law that can stop your landlord from raising your rent from $1,200 to $2,200 next month. So what do you do if that happens?
Don't panic—the chances of your landlord increasing your rent just because they want more money are drastically low. While rent amounts have been rising across the board, landlords still need to set the rent at a fair market price to attract and retain tenants. Any increase you receive is most likely to cover the inflated rates the landlord is paying in material, energy, and labor.
Additionally, there are also a number of local ordinances and general standards that indirectly help regulate rent increases. 

How much notice does a landlord need to give before they raise the rent?

Maryland law sets no specific statutes of how much advance notice a landlord needs to provide before raising a tenant’s rent—but 30 days is the typical standard. Landlords must submit a notice of the rent increase in writing to the tenant to amend the rent of a month-to-month lease.
Some cities and counties impose their own local ordinances that require landlords to provide more a significant advanced notice:  
  • In Baltimore and Takoma Park, a 60-day notice is required
  • In Montgomery County, a 90-day notice is required
For fixed-lease terms (such as a one-year lease period), the landlord must wait until the lease has expired and a new tenancy begins before raising the rent on a property—unless the lease itself provides for a rent increase. 

When is it illegal to raise rent in Maryland?

In Maryland, it’s generally legal for landlords to increase rent so long as they’ve provided adequate advanced notice. However, there are some circumstances where it’s illegal:
  • Rent cannot be raised in retaliation for a tenant exercising their tenancy rights, such as making a complaint about the rental property.
  • Landlords cannot raise the rent in discrimination against a tenant's identity, including race, color, sex, religion, disability, or family status. 

How to respond to a rent increase

If you’re a Maryland tenant facing increased rent, you have a couple of options. If you’re willing and able, you can always accept the higher rate and begin paying increased rent once your previous lease has expired. 
If you’re less than willing or able to pay your increased rent, here are your alternatives: 
  • If you believe your rent was illegally raised as an act of retaliation or discrimination, you can hire a lawyer to take legal action
  • If you believe the landlord did not provide you with adequate notice of your rent increase, you can file a lawsuit against your landlord. 
  • If you can't afford the higher rent but aren't ready to move, you can try to negotiate a lower price with your landlord. 
  • If you can't afford the higher rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for assistance and resources through your local emergency rental assistance program (ERAP)

How to save money to deal with a rent hike

When you move into a new apartment, you want to make sure your belongings are safe. One of the best ways to ensure your personal property is protected is by getting a renters insurance policy. 
But don’t worry about adding hundreds of dollars to your monthly spending. The average renters insurance policy only costs a few dollars a month! Jerry, the super app for insurance, can make sure that you find a renters policy that meets your needs. 
Simply download the app, answer a few questions, and the app will send you quotes that meet your needs. Once you make your choice, Jerry will take care of all of the paperwork—making savings and protection as easy as possible.
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FAQs

Technically, yes. There is no rent freeze in Maryland as a result of the pandemic, so landlords can still raise the rent if they so choose. There are, however, protections in place for those struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For help accessing resources, you can locate an emergency rental assistance program near you.
Between March 2021 and March 2022, rent prices increased across the U.S. Maryland saw one of the most significant rent increases, from 1.6% in 2021 to 11.6% in 2022.

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