Having a solid tenant who respects your property and pays rent on time is every landlord’s dream. But when your tenant wishes to terminate the rental agreement early, or if you don’t have such a great tenant in the first place, there are some specific situations where early termination is possible by the tenant or the landlord.

Termination by the landlord

A landlord in Maryland has only a few, but very broad reasons for terminating a rental agreement early. The two reasons that a landlord can terminate early are:

  • Tenant or tenant’s guests or invitees fail to comply with any term of the rental agreement.
  • Tenant misrepresents any material fact on their rental application.

Termination by tenant

The tenant in Maryland is also afforded some opportunities to terminate the lease prior to its expiration. The reasons are specific and typically require written documentation to support the early termination, as noted below.

  • Landlord materially fails to comply with the warranty of habitability and all codes, ordinances, and regulations regarding the premises, or material provisions of the rental agreement.
  • The premises becomes untenantable by reason of fire or unavoidable accident.
  • Tenant is on active duty with the United States military and receives permanent change of station orders or temporary duty orders for a period in excess of 3 months.
  • Tenant has a written certification from a physician requiring termination of lease, per MD Code, Real Property, § 8-212.2.
  • Landlord fails to comply with the applicable risk reduction standard for lead based paint, per MD Code, Real Property, § 8-215.
  • Tenant is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault; proof of status is required.
  • For premises located in Montgomery County only: The tenant experiences an involuntary change of employment from the Washington metropolitan area, death of a major wage earner, unemployment, or other reason beyond the control of tenant. In this case, the tenant will be liable for a reasonable termination charge not to exceed the lower of one month’s rent or actual damages sustained by the landlord. Please see § 29-27(s) of the Montgomery County Code for further detail.