A Maryland sublease agreement allows tenants to rent out all or part of their rental to another person (or “subtenant”). If you’re looking to move out before the end of your lease or simply want another person living on the property to help you pay rent, you’re allowed in Maryland to find someone to sign as a subtenant. The person who sublets has the same rights and responsibilities as the original renter and can be evicted just like the original tenant if they either:
- fail to pay rent
- cause damage to the property
- breach the terms outlined in the lease.
However, the tenant is also responsible for ensuring the subtenant doesn’t cause these issues. In the eyes of the landlord, the tenant is liable for problems caused by the subtenant. For a subtenancy to work, both the tenant and the subtenant must be trustworthy individuals who can pay rent on time and not get into trouble.
How to Write a Maryland Sublease Agreement
For a sublease agreement in Maryland to be legally binding, certain information must be outlined in the sublease. To write a simple agreement, follow these steps.
- Write the date you enter into the agreement.
- Name the current landlord and tenant(s) — If there are multiple tenants, they’re responsible for the terms of the lease jointly and severally. In other words, they’re all equally liable if one of the other tenants doesn’t pay or lives up to the terms of the contract.
- Choose the property type — You may be subletting a room, an apartment, a house, or another kind of property. Make it clear which type is being subleased in your agreement.
- Provide the physical location — Write out the street address, city, and state of the subleased property.
- Clearly state the cost of rent — Besides monthly rent, a Maryland landlord may require tenants to provide up to two months’ rent as a security deposit.
- Clarify when rent is due — When is rent late (three days after the due date, five days after?), and what are the late fees? Provide payment information and explain where and how the subtenant can pay.
- Provide additional information about the rental — This information includes whether there’s storage or an assigned parking area for the subtenant’s use.
- Fill in the rental term — Whether it’s week-to-week, month-to-month, or a longer agreement, this information must be clarified in the sublease. Note that the sublease term cannot surpass the agreed-upon term on the original lease.
- Clearly describe any potential hazards on the property — For instance, mention if there’s lead-based paint or anything else the subtenant should look out for.
- Take a stance on pets — If pets are allowed, make it clear that they are. Or if there are restrictions (like only cats or small-sized dogs, for instance), write them down. Also, state if a deposit is required or if there’s a weight limit.
Maryland Sublease Laws
You should check your original lease agreement to see if you can sublet your apartment. It’s recommended that a tenant receive written permission from their landlord before subletting in Maryland. Once you’ve filled out a Maryland sublease agreement, you will be responsible for your subtenant and liable for any violations of the original lease.
A sublessor must honor the terms of the sublease agreement (as well as the original lease) and follow all Maryland laws regarding the eviction process, security deposits, and all other landlord-tenant matters.
Maryland Landlord-Tenant Laws: Maryland Real Property Code
In Maryland, a sublessor must:
- Submit a written complaint for eviction with the District Court explaining that the subtenant hasn’t paid rent
- Return the security deposit within forty-five days (45) of the end of the sublease
- Provide thirty days (30) written notice of your intent not to renew the sublease and/or original lease
Maryland Sublease FAQs
Is subletting illegal in Maryland?
Subletting is allowed as long as the parties follow the rules and as long as the original lease doesn’t forbid it.
Can a tenant sublet without permission?
The landlord has a right to know who is living on the property and who will be responsible if there are any damages, so the landlord still has the right to ask for the new tenant’s information and run a background check.
How can I get out of a sublease agreement?
Signing a sublease in Maryland is the same as signing an actual lease. The only way to get out of a sublease involves a situation where either the sublease or lease is being violated by one party.
If the subtenant is causing the problems, the tenant may be able to evict them. If the tenant is the root of the issue and you want to get out from subleasing to them, the tenant also must be doing something that violates the terms of the sublease agreement.
However, you may be able to negotiate terms that allow you to leave early. Talk with the person (whether that’s the subtenant, tenant, or landlord) and see if you can agree.
Are there other reasons you may break a sublease agreement in Maryland?
Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault may break their sublease agreement early after giving 30 days notice that they intend to vacate the premises.