Do I need to give a reason for not renewing lease in Baltimore?

4 Replies

Hey everyone,

I'm sending a notice of non-renewal of lease to some tenants in Baltimore City. Does anyone know whether Baltimore City requires me to state a reason why I'm not renewing the lease? The tenants are expecting this notice, because I've given them warnings, and two neighbors and one contractor have complained about things like trash in the yard, dog poop in the house. I glanced at some sample letters online, and some recommend not disclosing a reason unless disclosure is required by law.

Thanks!

I don't believe so, as long as the lease is actually ending on it's original end date and not sooner. It's a previously agreed to end date, unless something extends it, or it's allowed to extend into month to month.

Baltimore city does require first right of refusal to a tenant though, if you are selling before the lease end date. Which I think is crazy, by the way. And it's also rarely enforced, from what I've heard (and experienced once).

@Lisa Montana I don't believe so but do not know for sure. I would try the Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc  (BNI) website to see if they have anything. They are a landlord tenant organization.

Note that within the city a min. 60 day notice is required.  It is important to note that means 60 days before the next renewal. If you notice them 1/2 way between monthly renewals, you have to give them 2  1/2 months notice for example.

Am in Colorado so I have little knowledge of the laws in MD, but a quick google search shows (please consult with your local real estate attorney to confirm accuracy of this information - but like @Ned Carey I found reference to 60 days though there are some situations where 30 days may go:

TERMINATION OF TENANCY BY LANDLORD

Where a tenant's lease is for one year or less and the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy, landlord must give tenant at least 60 days' written notice before the end of the year, month, or week when the tenant is to leave.

However, in the following situations a minimum of 30 days’ notice before the end of the lease term is required, unless the lease provides otherwise:

1. Tenant is violating an obligation of the tenancy, such as unreasonably refusing to give landlord access to the premises or failing to comply with sanitation standards set by law;

2. Tenant is committing or permitting a nuisance on the premises, or is permitting use of the premises for immoral or illegal purposes or for uses other than dwelling purposes;

3. Tenant's occupancy in the dwelling unit is seasonal (defined as 5 months or less);

4. The dwelling unit is a non-housekeeping furnished room or a unit without cooking facilities; or

5. Tenant's lease has expired or otherwise ended and the occupants are subtenants and tenant does not use any part of the premises as his or her dwelling.

In the following situations, regardless of the length of the lease term or rental period, the landlord is required to give 60 days’ minimum notice (unless the lease provides otherwise):

1. The landlord-owner seeks in good faith to recover possession of the dwelling so that he or a member of his or her immediate family (child, including stepchild and adopted child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother, father, mother-in-law and father-in-law) may live in it;

2. The landlord seeks in good faith to demolish the dwelling or make substantial alterations which cannot be done while anyone occupies it, provided the landlord has obtained the necessary official approval for the demolition, remodeling, or alteration;

3. The landlord seeks in good faith to substantially remodel the dwelling in order to permanently convert it to a commercial use, or to personally make permanent use of the premises for non-residential purposes, or to withdraw the premises from the rental market altogether, with no intent to sell it as housing.

If landlord does not comply with these requirements for notice to tenant, he will not be entitled to recover possession of the premises until proper notice is given.

Read the law: Baltimore City Code of Public Local Laws, Article 4, § 9-14 and 9-20

As Anna mentioned, a 60 day notice is standard, unless your area requires more.  

In terms of what to say, the less the better!  When you start giving reasons, you leave yourself open to litigation.

Don't give a reason.  It doesn't matter why.  It just matters that you are not offering them a renewal, and that you gave them proper notice.

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