The Lay of the Landlord Lease


Many landlords will establish a landlord-tenant relationship through the use of a form lease that is purchased at an office supply store or over the Internet. To do so is a major mistake!

Under the Annotated Code of Maryland, Real Property Article, there are numerous requirements made of a landlord with which these “form” leases often do not comply.

During my 30 years in the practice of law, the biggest error I have seen made by a landlord is not properly stating in the lease the language regarding security deposits.

Landlords who do not have leases that conform to Maryland’s requirements regarding security deposits are ineligible to keep the security deposit even if the landlord has incurred damages solely caused by the tenant. If the landlord wrongfully keeps the security deposit, the Real Property Article permits the Court to force the landlord to pay to the tenant up to three times the security deposit amount plus reasonable attorney’s fees.

There are ways, however, for a landlord to sue the tenant through a separate suit and potentially recover monies for the damages caused by the tenant.

Additionally, if a tenant has not paid rent when it’s due, the landlord has remedies to recover the lost rents. However many landlords are unfamiliar with the details as to how to effectively protect themselves when seeking court remedies. Many landlords will file papers with the courts and not realize the significance of obtaining personal service on the tenant in lieu of service by “posting”.

Retaining an attorney who is familiar with the landlord/tenant legal process will often help the landlord obtain the best results and at the least cost.

Fred Antenberg is a Maryland Attorney who is familiar with landlord representation and who can file the required court papers properly and seek to obtain the relief you need..

CONTACT Fred Antenberg at 410 730 4404 and schedule an appointment to meet with us at our Columbia, Md. Office.  We will discuss your case and hopefully represent you in landlord-tenant court.