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Understanding your landlord’s right of entry in Maryland

In a rental agreement, landlords and tenants each have their specific rights and responsibilities. A common concern among tenants pertains to their landlord’s access to the rental property. While landlords do have the right to access the property for certain reasons, they cannot simply enter the tenant’s home whenever they wish.

Renters in Maryland often ask, “Can a landlord enter a rental home whenever they want?” While the landlord is the owner of the property, there are restrictions on their access rights to protect the tenant’s right to privacy.

Rights and restrictions on landlords

In Maryland, landlords do have the right to enter a rented property, but this right is not unlimited. They can enter for necessary repairs or inspections, to show the property to prospective tenants or buyers or in the event of an emergency. Outside these circumstances, they typically cannot enter a tenant’s home without permission.

Before a landlord can enter a property for any reason other than an emergency, they generally must provide the tenant with notice. The landlord must give notice at a reasonable time before the proposed entry. While the law in Maryland does not specify what constitutes a “reasonable time,” typically 24 to 48 hours is acceptable.

Emergency situations

Emergencies constitute an exception to the general rule requiring notice. If there is an immediate risk of damage to the property or harm to its occupants, landlords can enter the property without notice. For example, if there is a gas leak or a fire, the landlord can enter immediately.

Protection against harassment

The law protects tenants from landlord harassment, including excessive entry into a rented home. If a landlord is entering a tenant’s home frequently or without a valid reason, they may be violating the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property.

Landlords in Maryland cannot enter a tenant’s home whenever they want. While they do have certain rights to access the property, they have limited rights to protect the tenant’s privacy and rights.