The Lease

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A lease is a written agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Once a lease is signed, it becomes a binding contract. Any changes or oral promises, conditions and agreements between the tenant and the landlord must be in writing and signed by both parties. Any provision in the lease that conflicts with federal, state and/or county law is not enforceable.

Any landlord who owns five or more dwelling units in the State of Maryland MUST provide the tenant with a written lease. If a landlord fails to comply with this provision, the tenancy will be presumed to be for a term of one year, commencing on the date of the tenant’s occupancy. The tenant may terminate the tenancy at any time by providing one month’s written notice to the landlord.

Any landlord using a written lease must, upon request from the prospective tenant, provide a copy of the proposed lease without requiring execution of the lease or any prior deposit. Model leases for multifamily and single-family rental properties are available free of charge from the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs (OLTA). We strongly encourage all landlords to use these model leases as they comply with federal, state and County laws.

Be advised that a landlord may require a tenant to obtain renter's insurance as part of the lease and may require that a tenant provide proof of such insurance. 

Required Provisions

The law requires that the landlord provide the tenant with a lease which gives tenants' their rights in writing at the commencement of the tenancy. These requirements are broken down below for ease of reading. All leases for residential rental properties in Montgomery County must:

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