Overview of Maryland Eviction Laws
Millions of tenants are evicted in America annually. With the few housing moratoriums expiring countrywide, landlords are looking forward to making moolah again. Sadly, tenants are at the mercy of these landlords. Hence the need to learn more about , to protect against illegalities such as withholding your deposit and illegal evictions.
However, dealing with landlords is no cup o' joe. If you don't know where to begin, know your rights, which office to report to or lodge a complaint, or time to fight, then you are in trouble. Property owners can intimidate you, especially if you lack a law partner.
That's what DoNotPay is today.
Grounds Under Which You Can Be Evicted in Maryland
Just as you have rights as a tenant, the landlord has the right to expel you under certain conditions. Understanding eviction laws (Maryland Code Real Property, Title 8 - Landlord and Tenant) will help you understand these conditions.
Four reasons you can be evicted in MD include:
- Failure to pay rent on time - that’s self-explanatory.
- Withholding rent, which happens when you fail to pay rent to force the landlord to undertake repairs. Instead, open an escrow account into which you deposit your rent. Once the repairs are done, the judge decides where the rent money goes.
- Holding over - when your lease expires, the landlord can evict you for keeping possession without their consent.
However, they should give you adequate notice to quit depending on the type of tenancy:
- Weekly – 7-day notice
- Monthly – 30-day notice
- Annual – 90-day notice
- Breach of the lease agreement - if you act unlawfully or put other tenants in danger, the landlord can evict you right away.
What to Do to Fight an Eviction in Maryland
give you a fighting chance regardless of why your landlord evicts you. If you are facing eviction, there are certain defenses you can deploy.
Some of them include:
- The landlord engaged in self-help evictions, such as changing the locks, taking your possessions, or shutting off the amenities.
- The landlord failed to follow due process as laid out by the law.
- You pay the rent and any other charges in full during the window period between giving notice and actual eviction.
- The landlord failed to maintain the rental unit.
- Eviction on the grounds of discrimination.
What Does the Eviction Process Look Like in Maryland?
The effects of an eviction can leave you distressed and destitute, more so if you don't know your rights. When you receive an eviction notice, the landlord doesn't have any right to force you out. Maryland eviction laws outline the eviction process all landlords should follow:
Issue eviction notice
The landlord issues you a written notice to quit depending on the lease agreement or type of tenancy.
File a complaint in the District Courts
The landlord should file a complaint in the district court in the rental units' home county. After a few days, the court issues the summons and complaints, which the sheriff or constable will serve you via first-class mail, in person, or post in an obvious place in the rental unit and send a copy via first class mail
Court hearing and verdict
The cause for eviction determines the hearing; 5 days for rent eviction and 10 for violations, holding over, and non-renewal.
Points to note:
- You can request a one-day adjournment for rent eviction and 6 – 10 days for other reasons.
- You are required to send a formal written answer to the court for rent evictions.
- You have four days for rent evictions and ten days for lease-related reasons to file for an appeal after the verdict.
- Appear for the hearing regardless of the eviction reason lest the court favors the landlord.
Warrant of Restitution is issued
After judgment (4 days for rent eviction and immediately after for the other reasons) in the landlord's favor, the court issues a warrant of restitution, giving you the final notice to vacate the rental premises with your possessions before the sheriff or constable forces you.
Return of possession
Upon issuing the warrant, you have up to 60 days (latest) to vacate the premises. If you are lucky, you might get a 15-day stay at execution if the judicial officer considers vacating you or any other occupants of the unit risky or if it's on a Sunday or holiday.
In short, you have 19 – 60 days to vacate so the rental unit can be returned to the landlord. In total, the entire eviction process in Maryland might take anywhere between 32 days to five months.
What Are My Rights as a Tenant in Maryland?
A rental/lease agreement in Maryland can be either oral or written. When you enter into such an agreement, Maryland eviction laws grant you certain rights as a tenant. If a landlord violates these rights, you can complain about them:
They include a right to:
- Safe and habitable dwelling
- Take at least two substitute measures if the landlord fails to honor and complete your repair requests in at least 30 days
- Early lease termination due to;
- Invoking an early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Harassment from the landlord
- Uninhabitable conditions
- Domestic or sexual violence
- Receive your security deposits, minus any allowable deductions within 45 days of moving
- Against housing discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial and marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity
- Mandatory disclosure for the use of lead-based paints and inspection before moving in
- Change your locks if you see fit
- Receive receipts upon paying the security deposit and rent
- Take possession at the beginning of the lease
- Protect you against any retaliatory evictions
How to fight against unlawful eviction by yourself/on your own
While Maryland eviction laws have outlined procedures regarding evictions, landlords can engage in unlawful evictions, such as 'self-help eviction' or retaliatory evictions. In such cases, there are steps you can take to fight against such acts:
- Talk with your landlord and ask for more time to come up with the rent or correct any lease violations
- File a complaint against the landlord in the District Court
- Right to redeem – you can pay the rent arrears before the eviction happens
Next Steps for Fighting Against Unlawful Eviction in Maryland If You Cannot Do It Yourself
If the above DIY methods fail, you can follow other avenues to fight unlawful evictions. Even if you feel the Maryland eviction laws aren't enough, you can seek assistance from the following bodies:
|Maryland Attorney General (Consumer Protection Division)||200 St. Paul Place, 16th Fl., Baltimore, MD 21202||Phone:
TDD: 410-576-6372, office hours only
|Civil Justice||-||Phone: 410-706-0174||Intake form|
|Maryland Legal Aid||-||-||-|
DoNotPay Can Help You Fight an Unlawful Eviction in Maryland
Unfortunately, these DIY methods tend to fail. Sure, Maryland eviction laws are clear on illegal evictions, but your chances of halting an unlawful eviction are slim without the proper guidance, resources, and time.
But there is hope. DoNotPay can help through:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it. You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.
Why Use DoNotPay Fight an Unlawful Eviction in Maryland
It's sad and hurtful when a landlord evicts you illegally. While learning about Maryland eviction laws gives you an advantage, DoNotPay will help you the rest of the way because we offer:
- Fast and convenient processes — You don't have to spend hours fighting illegal evictions.
- Ease of use — There are no tedious or annoying manual forms to fill
- Successful results — you don't have to worry about any illegal evictions. You can rest assured of the best possible outcome
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Our assistance doesn't end there. You'll be amazed at the bucket loads of tasks and challenges our ultra-modern platform can handle, including:
- Learn how to evict your roommate
- Find your missing money
- Help you understand the Freedom of Information Act
- Notarize a plethora of documents
- Draft various standardized legal documents
- Sue any party in small claims courts