IMPORTANT ADVISORYThe Mayor and Council adopted 5.8% as the 2023 Voluntary Rent Guidelines, effective Mar. 7, 2023. Please note that this notice supersedes all previous notices establishing the maximum rate of rent increase.
Chapter 18 of the City Code and provisions of state law regulate most aspects of landlord-tenant relations in the City of Rockville. In addition to providing information about the law, Housing and Community Development staff is charged with mediating landlord-tenant disputes related to properties in the city.
If staff is unable to mediate a dispute and there are reasonable grounds to believe a violation of law occurred, the city has a Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission, which can hear the case and render a judgement. Any decision by the commission may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Maryland.
Complaints can be made by submitting a Landlord-Tenant Complaint Form online or by sending this complaint form by mail. The following are examples of issues that can be addressed by staff or the Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission:
- Disposition of security deposits
- Rent increases
- Unauthorized entry
- Unlawful lease provisions
- Lease termination
- Nonpayment of rent
- Lease violations
If there are any maintenance or physical issues with a property, a tenant may file a complaint by submitting a Code Violation Report or by calling Code Enforcement at 240-314-8330. Maintenance deficiencies within properties are under the purview of Code Enforcement.
Up to five people, who are unrelated, can live together in a single-family home, sharing one kitchen.
A security deposit is a sum of money paid to the landlord that can be used to pay for damages to the property, violation of lease agreements, or non-payment of rent. The security deposit cannot be used to pay the last month's rent.
Once the lease has ended, the landlord has up to 45 days to return the security deposit. If any amount of the deposit is withheld for charges, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written, itemized list of charges. It is the responsibility of the tenant to notify the landlord of their updated address.
Security deposit interest rates are determined by the U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Rates. Use the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development calculator to find the accrued cost.
Rent Payments and Increases
Rent can only be increased once every 12 months. To increase the cost of rent, the landlord must notify tenants, in writing, at least 90 days in advance.
The rent must be more than 10 days past due for a landlord to impose a penalty. The late penalty cannot exceed 5 percent of the monthly rent.
Landlords may file a Failure To Pay Rent action in District Court of Maryland. Filing a Failure To Pay Rent action does not have a time restriction and can be filed after only one day past due date.
Notice to Vacate
Both the landlord and the tenant must give written notice as required by the lease to vacate a property. Typically, single-family homes will require one month's notice and two month's notice for multi-family homes. However, a notice to vacate can vary, and the exact requirements will be documented in the lease agreement.
A termination fee of up to two month's rent can be charged to the tenant if they terminate the lease early. Terminating a lease due to a job transfer or location change can result in a termination fee of up to one month's rent.
Military Change of Station Order
A change of station order exceeding 90 days requires a 30-day written notice to the landlord. If a tenant has given a 30-day notice, the landlord cannot issue a termination fee.
Specific provisions will be documented in the lease agreement.
To check whether an address was issued an eviction, contact the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 240-777-7000.