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COVID-19 Information for Maryland

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Reopening Order

Maryland is current in Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Under Phase 3, certain retail and commercial businesses may increase capacity.

Face Mask Mandate

All persons above the age of five years old are required to wear face coverings indoors at any public location, outdoors, and while engaging in work. The order is in effect until rescinded. 

State of Emergency

Governor Larry Hogan announced a state of emergency on March 5, 2020.

Eviction

Status: Eviction Cases Can Resume (Remote or in Person)

Court Guidance on Housing Cases and COVID-19

  • Description: Includes guidance on how cases will move forward, and the requirements placed on housing providers by the CARES Act and the CDC Eviction Moratorium Order.
  • Notice Requirements: Housing providers must provide renters with 30-day notices to vacate per CARES Act requirement. They must also comply with the CDC restrictions on evictions if the tenant provides the required declaration that they meet the conditions for eviction protection.
  • Additional Commentary: “A tenant can raise the conditions stated in the CDC Order as a defense to a Failure to Pay Rent case until December 31, 2020, unless the Order is extended. If a tenant is successful in raising this defense, the court will determine the amount due for possession, but may reserve entry of judgment until the judgment is not prohibited by the CDC Order. Once the CDC Order expires, the court, without a request from any party, may enter judgment for possession. Landlords must continue to inform the court if payments are made while the case is pending, or judgment is reserved.”

Executive Order (Expired)

  • Action: On April 3, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an updated executive order, prohibiting evictions of residents suffering from substantial loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • Scope: Nonpayment of rent and lease violations. This order expired on July 25, 2020. 
  • COVID-19 Related Financial Impact Requirement: A substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19 or the related proclamation of a state of emergency. This includes job loss, reduction in hours of work, closure of place of employment, or the need to miss work to care for a home-bound school age child.
  • Supporting Documentation: Required but not defined.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Governor Larry Hogan announced the commitment of $30 million in new funding to prevent evictions and help Marylanders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) intends to deploy $20 million in expected federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funding across all 24 jurisdictions in Maryland to help address eviction prevention needs. 

Additionally, Maryland will dedicate $20 million of federal funds for the Eviction Prevention Partnership Program. The funds will be distributed among the state’s 24 jurisdictions for local rental assistance programs.

The Maryland Department of Commerce has announced grant opportunities for small nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

Some Maryland not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funds from the newly created COVID-19 Emergency Relief $50M Grant Fund, which provides working capital intended to mitigate the disruptions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on small not-for-profits and businesses. 

Grants up to $10,000 and not to exceed 3 months of cash operating expenses may be awarded to Maryland not-for-profits and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and have 50 or fewer employees.

For additional eligibility details and a link to the grant application, visit the Maryland Department of Commerce website.

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. There is no statute preempting local rent regulation. 

Price-Gouging Law

Maryland does not have statutory language regulating price gouging during declarations of emergency.

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Baltimore 

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Mayor Jack Young announced his plan to commit $13 million of Community Development Block Grant-CV funds for the establishment of a temporary rental assistance program.

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Harford County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman announced the creation of a program that will help cover up to three months’ worth of rental expenses for people whose income is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income due to COVID-19. For a family of four, that would be an income of $78,500 or below. The program will be funded using federal money. To apply, click here.

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Howard County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Howard County has allocated of $800,000 in county funding for rental assistance and eviction relief. Of the total amount, $300,000 will come from the Disaster Relief and Recovery Initiative in the proposed operating budget, also requiring County Council approval. The other $500,000 will come from Moderate Income Housing Unit fee-in-lieu revenue sources.

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Montgomery County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The City Council approved a special appropriation of $2 million to support to end and prevent homelessness. Emergency eviction prevention and housing stabilization programs are also included. Funds are expected to be allocated to provide a short-term rental subsidy program to low- and moderate-income households in response to the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Prince George's County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Prince George’s County anticipates their second round of rental assistance launching on Monday, Oct. 26 and remaining open until Nov. 9. This version of the rental assistance program will require housing providers to complete a batch application for all qualifying units at a given property. Housing providers must submit rent rolls for relevant units and complete a worksheet which outlines the rent owed per unit they are seeking assistance for.  Residents will complete a verification form to be submitted with the application form.

The program will provide a maximum of $1,800 for up to six months for the period between March and December 2020 to income eligible (80% AMI) residents. Accepting the assistance payment requires housing providers to accept the $1,800 as full rent; thus providers must waive any other fees or amounts owed by the resident for the months that they are granted assistance.

A housing provider must also forgo their right to seek remedy (evict) an assisted tenant for 90 days after the assistance period; however, after 90 days, a housing provider may file for any missed rent during that period. A housing provider must also agree to waive any outstanding rent for 2 months prior to the rental assistance period. (e.g.: if assistance is provided for May-October, a housing provider must agree to waive delinquent rent from March and April). This information will be provided in greater detail in the Landlord Agreement.

For more information on the program, please visit the county’s website.