Landlord Tenant (PDF)

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					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.
   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
                                                 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
                                                 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
 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:

                                                 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
                                                 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

   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           
 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
(                                                                                              property).
For more information regarding this Federal requirement
visit the Maryland Judiciary website: (
                                                                            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
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.