Maryland landlord-tenant law allows for very few reasons to break their lease without penalty, since a lease is a binding legal contract between both parties, and cannot be changed without the consent of the other party.
However, some leases have a clause that provides a way for tenants to cancel. Commonly, this might require 60 days’ notice, and a penalty of two months rent. If your lease does not contain a “lease-break” clause, Maryland landlord-tenant law only provides an “out” under very specific circumstances:
- Military personnel who have received a change of duty station.
- Victims of domestic violence.
- The tenant has suffered a medical issue that precludes you from living in the residence, and your physician is willing to provide documentation and certification.
- If the property is uninhabitable due to a loss of essential services or other serious defect, you could file for rent escrow and ask the judge to void the lease.
Please note: rent escrow needs to be filed in court. If rent is withheld without an order from a judge, you could be evicted for nonpayment of rent.
If you need additional assistance with filing for rent escrow, you can contact the District Court Self-Help Center at 410-260-1392. Attorneys are available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM and they can give brief advice about your particular circumstances.