Property Managment Law in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD)
While we are not attorneys, our experienced property management staff strives to know and understand the laws, regulations, and judicial rulings, which govern rentals in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD).
Rentals in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD) are regulated by a combination of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and judicial rulings. Unfortunately there is no one place which lists these thousands of pages of legal requirements. Also each municipal jurisdiction in the county (City of Rockville, City of Gaithersburg, Town of Somerset etc.) have their own laws in addition to the federal, state, and county laws. In other words the law can be different from one side of the street to the other! Some laws even overlap.
For example: Lead Paint is regulated by both federal and state law so you must provide a tenant with both a federal lead pamphlet and a state of Maryland (MD) lead pamphlet.
The written laws are passed by a legislative body (Federal Law - Congress, State Law - The Maryland Legislature, County Law - Montgomery County Council, Municipal Law - City Council) and then signed by the executive (Federal Law - The President, State Law - The Governor, County Law - The County Executive, Municipal Law - The Mayor).
The laws often pile up one on top of the other.
For example, discrimination law. The federal law protects some groups, The State of Maryland adds other protected groups, and Montgomery County protects even more groups. Personal appearance and sexual orientation are among the many protected classes in the county that are not protected in other places.
Some laws empower the executive (President, Governor, County Executive, Mayor) to write regulations to implement a law.
For example: In Montgomery County Executive Regulation # 103-92 lists exactly what items a tenant is responsible to care for (caulking, filters, batteries, lightbulbs, etc.) and the owner is responsible for all other items. Since this is the law, it can’t be changed even by mutual agreement between the landlord and tenant.
Often disputes arise as to what a particular law or regulation actually means. A judge then decides. When a judge decides a case, his opinion becomes a part of the law.
For example: Recently a 103-page ruling was issued regarding the meaning of the “Source of Income” protections for section 8 tenants under Montgomery County Law. This ruling was overturned by an appellant court. That ruling was then overturned by the highest court in Maryland so now this 103 page ruling is settled county law.