COVID - LANDLORD/ TENANT & EVICTIONS

The Chief Judge of Maryland has ordered all non-emergency cases in all Maryland courts to be stayed during the COVID-emergency until June 5, 2020. 

 

She has also ordered all residential evictions to be stayed until further notice until July 25, 2020.  This can change anytime with a new court order and you may not get notice of your new eviction date. 

A “stay” means that something is put on hold, paused or postponed.  "Residential" means the property is used for living, rather than running a business.  

Courts open to hear housing cases

Administrative Order

Phase II: beginning June 5 and ending July 19

  • Emergency breach of lease actions, involving threats or injury to people or property 

  • Emergency wrongful detainer actions: If a guest or squatter refuses to leave, you may seek eviction by filing a "wrongful detainer" action in District Court. "Wrongful detainer" means to hold possession of real property (house, apartment, building, land) without the right of possession. You may not use "wrongful detainer" to evict current or holding-over tenants. Md. Code, Real Property § 14-132  

Phase III: July 20 through August 30

  • Rent escrow actions, provided local inspection practices are capable of being conducted: when a landlord fails to repair serious or dangerous problems in a rental unit, you have the right to pay your rent into an escrow account established at the local district court and the court will hold it until a judge hears your case and makes a decision. Md. Code, Real Property, § 8-211

  • Tenant holding over actions: A “holdover tenant” is a tenant who remains in the property they are renting after their lease has ended. The word “tenant” means the same as “renter” or “lessee.”

  • Any breach of lease action 

  • Any wrongful detainer action

  • Warrants of restitution associated with these actions on a cases-by-case basis are authorized pursuant to the Maryland Rules: when the court rules in favor of the landlord, then the landlord can file a warrant of restitution to arrange a sheriff to supervise the eviction. Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401

    • After July 25, 2020, the court will begin to process warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent cases.

Phase IV: August 31 through October 4

  • Failure to Pay Rent cases, as well as all other Landlord/Tenant case types.

Landlord/ Tenant cases, including Failure to Pay Rent

 

All residential landlord/tenant cases are stayed until July 25, 2020.  The District Court is not hearing any Failure to Pay Rent, Breach of Lease, Tenant Holding Over, Rent Escrow** and other landlord/ tenant cases right now.  If you already had a case, that case is on hold.  The court will send you a notice to let you know when your case will be rescheduled.  

Please Note:  Anyone can file a landlord/ tenant action in court and start a new case now.  Even if the case is filed now, it will not be heard until after July 25, 2020.  The court will notify you of the hearing date.

**Rent Escrow: Currently, courts are closed to all non-emergency matters.  If you think the conditions in your property are an emergency and a threat to your life, health or safety, please contact the Self-Help Center to get legal advice. You can call 410-260-1392 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or Chat from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Evictions


You cannot be evicted from your home right now.  In Maryland, a landlord needs a court order to evict a tenant from a property.  The Chief Judge of Maryland has ordered all evictions in the state to be put on hold. 

 

If the landlord already had a court order to evict a tenant (it's called a Warrant of Restitution), that order has also been put on hold, so the eviction is put on hold until further notice.  Under the court's order, the sheriffs across the state are not allowed to evict anyone right now.  This can change anytime with a new court order and you may not get notice of the new eviction date. 

If you are illegally locked out or evicted from your property in Baltimore City, you can call and report that to District Court Commissioner in Baltimore City.

In other parts of the state, please call 911 or your local Sheriff's Office to report the incident.  These legal services organizations may also be able to assist you.

Evictions Flowchart (from the Homeless Persons Representation Project)

Renters in Maryland and COVID-19: FAQs (April 1, 2020) 

Evictions & Foreclosures hold to be lifted July 25, 2020

Administrative Order Here

Hold on cases to be lifted July 25, 2020: 

  • All proceedings related to foreclosures of residential properties

    • A legal process in which mortgaged property is sold to pay the loan of the defaulting borrower. Foreclosures can also occur on property with delinquent taxes, water bills or condominium association fees.

  • Foreclosures of the rights of redemption of residential properties after a tax sale

    • If you do not redeem the property after the tax sale, the tax certificate holder can file a lawsuit to take ownership of the property.

  • Executions on residential real property under levy or subject to a lien

  • Actions for possession (ejectments) of residential properties by ground lease holders 

    • When a tenant does not pay the rent, a landlord may ask the court for permission to evict the tenant. This eviction procedure is called "summary ejectment".  Eviction cases are filed and heard in the District Court of the county where the property is located. Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401

  • Residential eviction matters and all pending residential eviction orders 

Housing Legal Services

Other Resources

Fair Development Roundtable Know Your Rights video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7Xm7puZowo&feature=youtu.be

FAQ on Renters Rights during COVID: https://9ac3d582-6211-42bd-b50b-f6be674fa527.usrfiles.com/ugd/9ac3d5_ba9bc10a7f544b3d9579870e9dd35280.pdf

Eviction Flowchart: https://9ac3d582-6211-42bd-b50b-f6be674fa527.usrfiles.com/ugd/9ac3d5_4adf1e04548e4bb3bc99037c4f46d9ea.pdf

Maryland Legal Aid Housing/ Consumer Law One-Pager: https://www.mdlab.org/wp-content/uploads/Housing-Consumer-COVID-one-pager.pdf

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