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Legal Information: Maryland

Maryland Housing Laws

Laws current as of November 27, 2023

What housing laws can protect me if I need to break my lease?

There is a housing law in Maryland that allows you, the tenant, to terminate your lease before it ends if you or a legal occupant in the home are a victim of abuse.1 The housing law also requires your landlord to change the locks at your request if you meet the qualifications explained in How do I get my locks changed?2

1 MD Code, Real Prop. § 8-5A-02(a)
MD Code, Real Prop. § 8-5A-05(a)

What is the legal definition of abuse?

For purposes of breaking your lease based on being a victim of abuse,1 the law defines “abuse” as being the victim of:

  1. assault in the 1st degree or 2nd degree;
  2. an act that places you in fear of immediate serious bodily harm or actually causes you serious bodily harm;
  3. rape in the 1st degree or 2nd degree;
  4. attempted rape in any degree;
  5. sexual offense in the 3rd degree or 4th degree;
  6. attempted sexual offense in any degree;
  7. stalking, which includes the use of a tracking device or electronic communication as defined by law;
  8. false imprisonment; or
  9. revenge porn.2

1 MD Code, Real Prop. § 8-5A-01(b)
2 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-501(b)(1)