If you rent your living space here in Baltimore City, there are various rights and legalities you should be aware of. In an effort to help clear the air on some of these, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions.
Are Oral Agreements Legal?
Yes, an oral agreement between a landlord and a tenant is legally binding. There are a few stipulations though. For starters, the lease term needs to be less than one year, and the landlord needs to rent 5 or fewer properties. That said, it’s a really good idea to have your lease written up in a legal contract, regardless of the circumstances, as opposed to going with an oral contract. It will help in the event of any disputes over rent pricing or responsibilities.
Are Application Fees Normal?
Yes, application fees are fairly normal. Landlords use this money to pay for things like credit checks on potential applicants. If the application fee is $25.00 or less, the landlord can even keep the application fee and not return it to you to help them cover their costs of the application. If you pay an application fee of over $25.00 in the city of Baltimore, then the landlord must return the money they didn’t use from the application.
What is Normal Wear and Tear?
Probably the most common issue with a Baltimore City rental agreement is the classification of “normal wear and tear”. Sadly, there is no cut-and-dry legal ruling on what is classified as normal wear and tear but the common understanding is that a few thumbtack holes from hanging pictures on the wall is considered as such and carpets are going to wear down from traction. What wouldn’t be normal wear and tear would be a larger hole in the wall or a large burn mark on the carpet.
It is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against any person of a federally protected class. The only instance where it is acceptable will be in the case of single-gender housing. In these circumstances, a landlord is allowed to only rent units to a single gender if there is a shared common area. Any other instance of rent discrimination is illegal and if you feel you were a victim of housing discrimination in Baltimore City, contact the Baltimore housing discrimination lawyers at DRA e-law today.
For help with your Baltimore City tenant rights, get in touch with the landlord-tenant law firm of DRA e-law in Baltimore City. The DRA e-Law team is experienced in representing both landlords and tenants in legal matters that concern rental properties and landlord-tenant relationships. For more information, give DRA e-law a call at 410-332-8404 or fill out the form on our website, today!