If you own unused or additional property, becoming a landlord may seem like a lucrative investment. The landlord/tenant law attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A., have provided the following information regarding how to become a Maryland landlord.
Leasing your additional residential property can be a lucrative investment. But, being a landlord in Maryland requires significant considerations, careful planning and compliance with federal, state and local laws.
The first step in the process of becoming a landlord is research. It is important that you understand what is legally expected of you—as a landlord—and your property, should you take on this new responsibility. Performing your due diligence will enable you to make better decisions regarding what type of tenancy you wish to offer, and what laws, codes and regulations exist that may affect the leasing process. For example, under Maryland law, both tenants and landlords have certain rights which can dictate the legal obligations each has to one another. When landlords are not cognizant of the rights of their tenants, they put themselves at risk of violating the law, and subsequently can face lawsuits and fines.
Next, you must ensure that your property is in compliance with all zoning codes and safety regulations. By law, the property that is to be leased must be in livable condition prior to leasing. This includes verifying that the electrical systems, plumbing, structural components and roof are all in a condition that is safe for tenants. Typically, landlords are also required to install safety equipment such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In some instances, regulations may require rental properties of a certain size to install sprinkler systems as well.
Once you have ensured that your property complies with code and safety regulations, you may need to obtain additional residential leasing permits, licenses, and registration. In Baltimore County and Baltimore City, landlords are required to be registered. In Harford County, registration is not required.
After you have obtained the proper permits, licenses, and registration, and have ensured that your property complies with local, state and federal requirements and codes, you will then need to outline the specific rules and policies that govern your property. With these in mind you can work with an experienced landlord and tenant law attorney to draft leasing contracts and other pertinent documents.
Having an attorney who is familiar with the residential leasing laws, as well as the landlord and tenant laws in both Maryland and your district can help to guide you through the process. The attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A., have extensive experience working with landlords of residential properties throughout Harford County, and Maryland. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact us by clicking here.