2017 Maryland Code
Real Property
Title 8 - Landlord and Tenant
Subtitle 5A - Rental Housing -- Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
§ 8-5A-06. Written request to change locks

  • (a) In general. -- A person who is a victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault and who is a tenant under a residential lease may provide to the landlord a written request to change the locks of the leased premises if the protective order or peace order issued for the benefit of the tenant or legal occupant requires the respondent to refrain from entering or to vacate the residence of the tenant or legal occupant.
  • (b) Documents included with written request. -- The written request provided under subsection (a) of this section shall include:
    • (1) A copy of a protective order issued for the benefit of the tenant or legal occupant under § 4-506 of the Family Law Article; or
    • (2) A copy of a peace order issued for the benefit of the tenant or legal occupant for which the underlying act was sexual assault under § 3-1505 of the Courts Article.
  • (c) Time period to change locks. --
    • (1) The landlord shall change the locks on the leased premises by the close of the next business day after receiving a written request under subsection (a) of this section.
    • (2) If the landlord fails to change the locks as required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the tenant:
      • (i) May have the locks changed by a certified locksmith on the leased premises without permission from the landlord; and
      • (ii) Shall give a duplicate key to the landlord or the landlord's agent by the close of the next business day after the lock change.
  • (d) Copy of key to tenant; fee. -- If a landlord changes the locks on a tenant's leased premises under subsection (c) of this section, the landlord:
    • (1) Shall provide a copy of the new key to the tenant who made the request for the change of locks at a mutually agreed time not to exceed 48 hours following the lock change; and
    • (2) May charge a fee to the tenant not exceeding the reasonable cost of changing the locks.
  • (e) Payment of fee. --
    • (1) If a landlord charges a fee to the tenant for changing the locks on a tenant's leased premises under subsection (d) of this section, the tenant shall pay the fee within 45 days of the date the locks are changed.
    • (2) If a tenant does not pay a fee as required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the landlord may:
      • (i) Charge the fee as additional rent; or
      • (ii) Withhold the amount of the fee from the tenant's security deposit.
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