Baltimore City Lease Renewal Law

As of July 20, 2021, a new Baltimore City lease renewal law went into effect, where a landlord must renew a tenant’s lease unless a “good cause” exists to terminate the landlord-tenant relationship.

The new law is the result of a loophole in the eviction ‘moratorium’ that allowed landlords to decline lease renewals for existing tenants, and then file for Tenant Holding Over if the tenant remained in the unit. There are a few exceptions to the law, however, that tenants should be aware of.

A landlord can decline a renewal if:

  • There is a substantial breach of the lease by the tenant
  • A landlord wants to remove the property from the rental market
  • A landlord wants to move into the property as their new primary residence
  • A landlord needs to make substantial repairs or renovation that would preclude a tenant from living in the property while the work was being done.

Also included in the new law is a requirement that tenants must receive a renewal notice 75 days prior to the expiration of their current lease. The law will expire on the 181st day following the expiration of the emergency order signed by the Governor of Maryland on March 5, 2020, as amended or extended by the Governor.

You can read the lease renewal law here. (Link opens a PDF file).