Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership offers a number of helpful publications most of which may be viewed or downloaded from this site. Printed copies and packets of information may also be ordered using the Publication Order Form. If you need help finding the information you need, or have other questions, please call us at 301-797-0900 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Click on the title of the following publications and packets for a complete description and to download or order: The downloadable files are in .pdf (portable document format), which can be read and printed on all platforms with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program. If you do not have a copy of Reader, it can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe by clicking here.
In an effort to help Marylanders easily find rental housing that meets their needs, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has launched an online listing of rental housing units available Statewide. The new web site, www.MDHousingSearch.org, allows property owners to advertise their available rental housing units, including market rate rentals and affordable units. Prospective renters can then use the web site to search the up-to-date listings based on criteria including cost, neighborhood, or personal needs.
The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 prohibits discrimination in housing based on: Race or Color • Religion • Sex • Handicap • Familial Status • National Origin
WHAT HOUSING IS COVERED? The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. Under some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members. Fair Housing Action Center of Maryland: www.fairhousingmd.org
WHAT IS PROHIBITED? In the sale, rental or financing of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of the person seeking housing:
Refuse to rent or sell available housing
Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
Falsely state that housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental
Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
Provide different housing services or facilities
For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (Blockbusting)
Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service related to the sale or rental of housing
AGE OR FAMILIAL STATUS Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate against families in which one or more children under the age of 18 years of age live with:
A parent who has legal custody of the child(ren);
A person designated by the parent or legal custodian of the child(ren)
Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18 years of age.
PROTECTION FOR THE DISABLED If tenant or member of their household:
Has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Has a record of such disability; or
Is regarded as having such a disability,
A Landlord May Not...
Refuse to let the tenant make reasonable modifications to the dwelling or common use areas, at the tenant's expense, if necessary for the handicapped person to use the housing.
Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, if necessary, for the handicapped person to use the housing. Example: A building with a "no pets" policy, must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog. Example: A rental complex that offers ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility impaired tenant for a reserved parking space near the tenant's apartment.
FAIR HOUSING DO'S AND DON'TS Do Not…
Ask illegal questions about an applicant's marital status or their religious practices
Advertise indicating a preference for a specific age, religion, race, etc.
Set different fees, charges or security deposit amounts for different tenants in comparable units
Steer applicants to other landlords or neighborhoods
Do . . .
Treat each applicant equally. Be consistent in the information you request and the application approval process.
Use a printed application form to ask for financial information, names, and ages of household members, previous rental references, or credit references
Document contacts with applicants and tenants in writing
Keep a written copy of your policies and procedures on applications and occupancy
Educate and train people working for you about Fair Housing laws and practices
Display the Equal Housing Opportunity logo in advertising and in your place of business
The laws about security deposits for residential rental housing (including mobile homes) are often misunderstood by both tenants and landlords. This covers the main points about security deposits and may help you avoid problems with your tenants or landlord. If you have other questions, please call or email us for more information.
A security deposit is any money paid to a landlord by a tenant to protect the landlord against unpaid rent or damages to the leased premises.
Security deposits can include the last month's rent, if paid at the beginning of the lease.
Security deposits may include "pet deposits" and other special deposits against damages.
Maximum Deposit Amount The security deposit may not be more than two months rent. If a landlord overcharges, the tenant has up to two years after the lease ends to sue the landlord for up to three times the extra amount charged, plus attorney's fees.
The landlord must give a written receipt for the security deposit. The receipt can be part of a written lease.
The receipt must tell the tenant that the tenant has a right to receive a written list of existing damages if the tenant requests this list in writing within 15 days of moving into the property.
If a landlord does not provide this list, the tenant can sue the landlord for up to three times the amount of the security deposit.
Separate Account and Interest on Deposits
Security deposits must be kept in a separate interest-bearing account in Maryland, and deposited within 30 days of receipt.
Effective January 1, 2015, simple interest of 1.5% per year, accrued at 6-month intervals, must be paid on security deposits of $50 or more. (Example: a $100 security deposit earns $1.50 after 12 months, $2.25 after 18 months, $3 after 24 months.)
If the property is sold or transferred, the new landlord is responsible for obtaining the deposit (and any accrued interest) from previous owner and opening a separate account for the deposit as stated above.
Moving Notice and Inspection
When the tenant pays the security deposit, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing that the tenant has the right to be present at landlord's inspection of the property for damages when the tenant moves out.
The tenant must notify the landlord by certified mail at least 15 days before moving of the tenant's move out date and the tenant's new address.
The inspection must be within five days before or five days after the moving date.
Return of Deposits
Landlords may keep part or all of a security deposit for unpaid rent or the actual cost of repairing damage caused by the tenant, tenant's family or guests. Ordinary wear and tear is not damage.
Within 45 days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must send the tenant a written list of damages and the actual amount spent by the landlord to repair damage to the property.
The landlord may not keep any part of the security deposit unless they notify the tenant of the charges.
Within 45 days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit, plus 1.5% interest, minus any unpaid rent or cost of damages.
If the landlord does not return the security deposit within 45 days, the tenant can sue the landlord for three times the amount wrongly withheld by the landlord, plus attorney's fees.
Eviction or Abandonment
If a tenant has been evicted, ejected or has abandoned the property before the lease ends, the security deposit may be returned when:
Within 45 days after moving, the tenant mails the landlord a letter with the tenant's present address requesting return of the security deposit.
The landlord has 45 days to mail the tenant a list of damages and costs.
The security deposit, less damages, must be returned within 45 days of receiving the tenant's notice.
No Waiver of Rights No provisions of the security deposit laws can be waived, either orally or in writing.