Window Guards

The new window guard law applies to all rental apartments and condos in Montgomery County. The law states that, window guards or stops must be installed in every habitable room of rental apartments and condos located above the ground floor level that are occupied by children under age 11 or upon any tenant’s request, to limit window openings to no more than 4 inches.

The device must:

Exemptions to the window guard law:

  • be made of rigid metal
  • be permanently installed securely into a structurally sound window frame with metal screws
  • have a minimum weight resistance of at least 150 lbs
  • prevent any opening of 4 inches or more

  • Townhomes or Single Family Detached Homes
  • Windows used to access a fire escape ladder
  • Ground floor level rental units
  • Windows that do not open
  • Windows that have a permanently bolted air-conditioning unit when there is no opening greater than 4 inches
  • Properties located in the City of Gaithersburg, Rockville, Takoma Park, Towns of Laytonsville, Garrett Park, Towns of Barnesville, and Chevy Chase Village unlimited

Landlord’s Obligations

  1. Landlords must install and maintain window guards or window stops in every habitable room at no additional cost to the tenant, to protect children under age 11 or when otherwise requested at any time by any tenant.
  2. Landlords must notify tenants about the new law by February 1, 2022, in a signed notice to the tenant of their rights as described in the sample “window guard lease addendum”. A tenant window guard notice is required at least once annually, at the initial lease signing, at lease renewal, in the written notice of rent increase, or every February 1 .
  3. Landlords must issue an additional window guard notice if the tenant fails to sign and submit the window guard lease addendum within 30 days (March 2, 2022).
  4. Landlords must keep a current inventory of the types of devices used, the number installed in each unit, and the location of each device.
  5. Landlords may submit a request to the DHCA Director for a window guard variance when compliance with the law is structurally infeasible.

Window Guard Example

Metal Block for Sliding Windows