District Court judges hear the majority of landlord-tenant disputes. When a landlord and tenant , enter into a lease agreement, both parties have certain rights and responsibilities. This brochure describes the actions a landlord may take against a tenant. Frequently Asked Questions Do I Need a Lawyer? Can a Tenant Be Evicted Because of How is a Case Appealed? You are not required to have a lawyer; Unpaid Rent? The tenant and the landlord have the right many people who bring cases before the Tenants should try to work out a schedule to appeal a judgment. An Order of Appeal District Court represent themselves. of payments with landlord; the Dept. of must be filed within the applicable time limits However, an attorney may be helpful Social Services may help. In most cases the - in failure to pay rent cases within 4 working in advising you about your case and tenant cannot be evicted if the amount the days; in all other actions for possession, representing you. In most cases, court decided was due, plus court costs, is 10 calendar days including weekends and corporations and other business entities paid prior to the eviction. Payment to the holidays. If the court is closed on the last day must be represented by an attorney. landlord must be in cash, certified check or for filing an appeal it may be filed by close of money order. Exceptions: If a tenant has business on the next day the court is open. What Happens in Court? had three judgments of possession (four in The appeal will be heard in circuit court. How If one party doesn’t appear, the court Baltimore City) filed against him/her during may postpone the trial, issue a judgment, the 12 months before the current suit, a Landlords landlord may request that the court deny the Mediation: an Alternative or dismiss the case. If both the landlord tenant’s right to redeem the property. The The District Court’s Alternative Dispute Can and tenant appear, the court may: Resolution Program (ADR) offers mediation free n Listen to both parties present their landlord must provide the court with a list of charge. It is less formal, time-consuming and Resolve of prior case numbers and judgment dates. If version of the dispute. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court may issue the judge grants the request, the tenant may costly than going to court. A trained mediator works with both sides to resolve the problem Disputes be evicted even if he/she pays the rent due. an Order of Possession. In certain limited and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. If mediation proves unsuccessful, you may still seek with circumstances, the court may enter a monetary judgment in the amount of the What Are My Rights to a Jury Trial? resolution in court. Tenants rent due and the costs of the suit or There are no jury trials in District Court. For more information: Landlord/ If the amount of the claim exceeds $15,000, Alternative Dispute Resolution Office n Postpone the trial to allow either party Phone: (410) 260-1676; Fax (410) 260-3536 to obtain necessary witnesses. or the tenant’s interest in the lease is more www.mdcourts.gov/district/adr/home.html than $15,000, either party may request a What Should I Bring to Court? jury trial which is transferred to the circuit For more information on Maryland courts and court. Landlords must request a jury trial Tenant Both parties should bring all court their procedures, please contact a clerk in any documents and evidence to support their in writing when filing court forms; tenants state or county courthouse or visit the Maryland respective claims. Evidence may include must make their requests in writing prior to Judiciary website: copies of the lease, letters, photographs and the date of the District Court trial. Circuit www.mdcourts.gov other appropriate documents. court procedures may differ. See Tenant/ It is the mission of the District Court Landlord brochure for information on tenant of Maryland to provide equal and exact justice actions against landlord. How Do I Request a Postponement? for all who are involved in Requests for a postponement by either litigation before the court. the landlord or tenant must be made in How Do I Collect Money Damages? The court will not collect money for you. Information contained in this brochure is intended to inform writing before the trial date. A copy of the the public and not serve as legal advice. This brochure is subject request must be mailed to the opposing It is your responsibility to collect damages to unscheduled and unannounced revisions. Any reproduction of party. awarded by the court. See District Court this material must be authorized by the Office of the Chief Clerk brochure: Post Judgment. of the District Court of Maryland. DC/CV 82BR (Rev. 1/2011) As a landlord in Maryland, you have certain rights and Tenant fails to pay Tenant refuses to leave Tenant breaches Occupant refuses to Eviction remedies in regard to disagreements with a tenant. On the right are some common problems and below are the rent. Landlord (holds over). lease. Landlord leave. Landlord or Procedures steps you follow to resolve these problems. seeks eviction and Landlord seeks seeks eviction for person responsible monetary damages eviction and monetary violating lease for rent seeks Preliminary Action damages eviction of occupant Certain court actions require the landlord to act prior to filing ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ and to prove action was legally taken. Documentation must be None Landlord must notify Landlord must notify None Before filing for presented in court. tenant in writing to tenant in writing to eviction, landlord must vacate property on or vacate property. Must obtain judgment and File Form and Pay Fee before the day rent is give 30 days notice (or 14 wait 4 business days. Fill out forms carefully; inaccurate information, such as wrong due. days if there is clear and name or address, may cause case to be dismissed or delayed. Time restrictions apply. imminent danger of the Federal law requires a landlord to provide information tenant or person who is as to whether any Tenant is in the military or provide on property doing serious specific facts for the Court to conclude that each Tenant harm to themselves, other is not in the military. This information may be available tenants, the landlord, from various sources including the Department of Defense the landlord's property or representatives, or Manpower Data Center any other person on the (http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/scra/owa/home). property). For more information regarding this Federal requirement visit the Maryland Judiciary website: (www.mdcourts.gov) File Failure to Pay File Complaint and File Complaint and File Complaint for File Petition for Warrant and follow the link to Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Rent (DC/CV82) Summons Against a Summons against Tenant Wrongful Detainer of Restitution (DC/CV81) If rent is unpaid and the tenant is deceased, intestate (not having Tenant Holding Over in Breach of Lease (DC/ (DC/CV89). within 60 days. made a legal will), and without next of kin, the landlord may file a (DC/CV80). Complaint CV 85). Complaint must Failure to Pay Rent action. must include copy of include copy of notice sent Serve Notice notice sent to tenant. to tenant. The summons/complaint must be delivered or “served” to the person Serve notice; court mails Serve notice. Notice Serve notice. Notice must Serve notice. Copy sent Serve notice. named in the court process within a specified time-frame and copies to landlord, tenant must include copy include copy of letter sent to tenant and sheriff. according to the law. Notice may be served by: 1. Posting: sheriff or Court appearance and sheriff or constable. of letter sent in in preliminary action [Note: this is the only required. constable posts form in a conspicuous place, usually on the door of Court appearance preliminary action and and proof that notice was copy sent to tenant.] rented property; and also sends notice by first-class mail; or required. proof that notice was served . No additional court 2. Personal service: sheriff or constable attempts to deliver notice served. Court appearance appearance required. to tenant. Personal service may require an additional fee. Court appearance required. If the tenant is deceased, the occupant or next of kin is to be served by required. personal service. If neither can be found, the sheriff or constable will If landlord wins, If landlord wins, If landlord wins, If landlord wins, Warrant of post a copy of the summons upon the property. judgment for possession Warrant of Restitution Warrant of Restitution Warrant of Restitution Restitution must be may be entered. Warrant may be issued may be issued may be issued filed within 60 days Post-Judgment of Restitution may be immediately without immediately without immediately without of judgment. Depending upon action, a judgment for possession may be entered, entered after 4 business waiting period. waiting period. waiting period. and in some cases monetary damages may be awarded. Collection days. If money judgment of any judgment is the responsibility of the landlord. (See: Post- obtained, judgment may be recorded, if requested Judgment brochure for more information on collection options.) in writing and fee paid. Special Notes File in county where Time frame to give notice depends Eviction cannot take place on Sunday or holiday and sheriff must property is located. May upon lease: one week notice for be present. While landlord is not responsible for notifying tenant of All correspondence with the court should include the case week-to-week tenancy; one month file any time after rent is eviction timing, it is practical to do so as it gives tenant opportunity number, [upper right hand corner of form] and certification that past due. notice for indefinite lease; three to remove personal property. Once property is removed from a copy of the correspondence was mailed to the opposing party. month notice for year-to-year lease. premises, tenant is responsible for its safety.