This is always a touchy subject. Landlords are supposed to keep security deposits in an escrow account, if the security deposit is more than $50.00. The money in this escrow account is supposed to be used to offset damages to the rental when the tenant moves out. The balance is to be returned to the renter, and there are rules for how security deposit is returned.
First thing you need to know is that when the landlord receives a security deposit they must provide the tenant with a receipt. This receipt needs to have listed the full address of the property, and state the reason for the money, in this case security deposit; also the receipt needs to have the landlords contact information name address, phone number, etc. Maryland allows the landlord to include this receipt in the written lease.
So what is going to happen if you neglect to give the tenant a proper receipt?
There could be a $25.00 penalty if you fail to provide proper receipt.
If the landlord overcharges for the security deposit a court may side with the tenant, and rule in the tenants favor. Meaning you, the landlord, could have to pay THREE (3) TIMES the extra amount charged to the tenant.
Maryland allows a landlord to charge a security deposit not to exceed two (2) months rent.