Starting in 2019, landlords in Baltimore will have to adjust to more stringent home inspections. Officials are calling this the most significant legislative change to Baltimore real estate law in more than 50 years.
Councilman Bill Henry and several housing officials introduced the bill at the beginning of 2018.
Chief among the changes to current real estate law is that starting next year, all residential properties will require inspection, instead of just buildings containing 3 or more units. For more than five decades, smaller buildings that house 1-2 units have been exempt from inspection.
When the new law takes effect, every landlord will receive a license that requires an inspection every 2 years. Landlords who are cooperative and fix violations quickly will earn a license that requires an inspection once every 3 years. Owners who are not as compliant will be required to conduct an inspection annually or every 2 years. This new process is similar to the one currently used in Baltimore County.
The law will also change for larger buildings. Those properties that have 9 or fewer units will need each one inspected, while complexes with 10 or more will need a certain percentage to pass inspection.