Guidance for Rental Tenants Affected by COVID-19

The State of Maryland is committed to helping citizens, consumers, and customers during these uncertain times. All Marylanders are facing unique challenges. Tenants in an apartment community or other rental properties may have questions and concerns, including inability to pay rent or specific health issues related to community living.

Rent, Utilities, and Eviction

Governor Larry Hogan issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Examples include losing employment, needing to care for a school-aged child,or being diagnosed with COVID-19. An additional emergency order prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s service or charging any late fees. For additional assistance with housing needs, utility shutoffs, family or financial issues, tenants should contact Maryland 2-1-1 by calling 211 or visiting 211md.org.

Apartment Community Health Guidelines

Tenants should practice cleanliness, good hygiene, and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid contact with sick people, and stay in your apartment if you are sick.
  • Keep your apartment clean and disinfected. 
    • ​Landlords or property managers are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting common areas, but tenants are responsible for cleaning their units.

If tenants must leave their apartments to use common areas or exit the complex, they should take additional preventive measures. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, mailboxes, and other items in common areas. Try to ride elevators only with household members, and wash or sanitize hands after pressing buttons. Clean buttons and surfaces of laundry machines before and after use. The CDC believes airborne transmission of the virus is unlikely over long distances especially those with proper filtration. Cautious tenants seeking ventilation may prefer opening their windows to create drafts several times a day unless, for example, their units are on the first floor next to a heavily-trafficked street.

Helpful Links

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