Pikesville, MD asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland

Q: Can I break my lease because my apartment is affected with mice and snake?Are Indoor Dryer Vents Legal in Maryland?

I discovered a mice infestation during the second week of my tenancy, it’s been almost 6 months, still the problem remains. In addition to this, there are issues with broken appliances such as the refrigerator, which has a water flow problem. There is also a leak from one of the ceilings. However, whilst these issues are bad enough, it was the discovery of a snake inside the property which has deeply shocked and traumatized me; I am full of anxiety and fear every time I return to my apartment.

In addition, the dryer exhaust in my rental doesn't vent to the outside. It vents into the house. The dryer is in my kitchen and use Everbilt Indoor Dryer Vent Kit. Is it safe?Is it against code to vent a dryer inside? Can I break my lease because of these issues?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Maryland law offers "rent escrow" as an option for a tenant living in a place that has serious health or safety violations. The tenant can seek different options, from having the landlord fix the problem, to asking the court to reduce rent or break the lease. It is up to the court to decide at a hearing based on the evidence what kind of relief (if any) to give the tenant.

This kind of action is filed in District Court. Generally the tenant will document the specific dates and ways notice was given to the landlord. In some Maryland District Court locations there is a "pro se" or "self help" clinic staffed by volunteer attorneys to help tenants select and file the appropriate forms. The Maryland Judiciary also has an informative free webinar on the topic accessible at https://mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/webinars/rentescrow

While not legal advice I hope that this general information helps.

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