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” or a Failure to Pay Rent case.  Eviction cases are filed and heard in the District Court of the county where the property is located. These laws apply statewide in Maryland. Within Maryland, some counties and municipalities make small changes to the state laws. Don’t forget to check your local housing laws.  Topics on this page: Procedure for EvictionRepresentation at a rent hearingJudgment in Favor of LandlordExtension of Time to Leave PremisesAppealsRedemption  Procedure for EvictionWhen tenant fails to pay the rent that is due, the landlord may file a written complaint in the District Court asking to repossess the property, for the amount of rent due, and court costs. A landlord must possess a current license to operate, if required by the county and/or municipality, in order to use the summary ejectment procedures.

Notice Requirement – Before filing the Failure to Pay Rent complaint in the District Court, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice of the landlord’s intent to file the complaint. This notice provides that the tenant has 10 days after receiving the notice to pay the rent due.Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401Read the Case: McDaniel v. Baranowski, 419 Md. 560 (Court of Appeals, 2011)The court will then issue a “summons.” The sheriff will notify the tenant by posting the summons and complaint on the property, and mailing the papers to the tenant. The summons says the tenant should appear before a District Court judge at the trial. The trial will occur on the fifth day after the landlord files the complaint. The tenant will be required to “answer” the landlord’s complaint to “show cause” why the landlord’s demand to repossess the property should not be granted.If requested, the sheriff must also personally serve the summons to the tenant, subtenant, or other person in actual possession of the property. If none of those persons can be found on the property, the sheriff may post a copy of the summons in a conspicuous place on the property. This method of service is sufficient only for the landlord to get a default judgment against the tenant for possession of the premises and court costs, not for the amount of rent due. The tenant must be personally served to support any judgment for rent due.At the trial, the judge has the authority to order an adjournment for 1 day to permit either tenant or landlord to obtain necessary witnesses, or for a longer period, if both parties agree.

More information about rent court and evictions.Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401 Representation at a rent hearing Usually, only a lawyer can represent someone in court. For the action discussed in this article (summary ejectment in District Court), there are other options for landlords and tenants. Landlords A landlord may choose to have a non-lawyer represent him in a summary ejectment or rent escrow action in District Court. It is common for landlords to have their property agents represent them in such actions.  Tenants Tenants may choose to have a non-lawyer represent them in rent escrow or summary ejectment proceedings in District Court if the person is a law student practicing in a clinical law program at an accredited law school with the in-court supervision of a faculty member; oran employee of certain types of non-profit orginzations who has training and is supervised by a lawyer.  Read the law: Md. Code, Business Occupations & Professions § 10-2 Judgment in Favor of Landlord If the landlord wins the case, the court will order the tenant to leave the property within 4 days. If the tenant has not moved out within the time ordered, the landlord may request that the court issue a “warrant of restitution” directing the sheriff to allow the landlord to repossess the property and move the tenant’s belongings out of the premises. The sheriff must be present at the actual eviction. If the landlord does not request a warrant of restitution within 60 days from the date of judgment (or from the expiration date of any stay of execution), the judgment for possession will no longer be valid. If the landlord does not exercise a warrant of restitution within 60 days from the date of warrant, the judgment for possession will no longer be valid. Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401 Extension of Time to Leave Premises The judge may grant an extension of time for surrender of the premises for a maximum of 15 days after the trial if he receives a certificate signed by a physician stating that surrendering the premises within the 4 day period would endanger the health or life of the tenant or another occupant. In the event of “extreme weather conditions,” the administrative judge of the local District Court can choose to postpone a scheduled eviction for non-payment of rent from day to day.  When the weather allows evictions to start up again, the postponed evictions will be given priority and must be completed within 3 days after the severe weather ceases.  Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401   Appeals Tenant or landlord may appeal the court order to the circuit court within 4 days after it has been issued.  If the tenant appeals, he will be required to post a bond with 1 or more sureties, who are owners of sufficient property in Maryland, with the condition that he will diligently prosecute the appeal and pay any judgment, including any additional damages incurred by reason of the appeal. Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8-401(h)   Tenant’s Right to Stay on Property by Paying Amounts Owed In any summary ejectment (eviction) for failure to pay rent where the landlord is awarded a judgment allowing the landlord to repossess the leased premises, the tenant has the right to remain in the leased premises by giving cash, a certified check, or money order to the landlord or his agent to cover all past due rent and late fees, plus court-awarded costs and fees at any time before the actual carrying out of the eviction order. This is called the “right of redemption.” However, the tenant’s right of redemption (i.e. right to stop the eviction) is not available if 3 (4 in Baltimore City) or more judgments of possession for rent due and unpaid were entered against the tenant in the 12 months prior to the beginning of the pending eviction action. A landlord may not refuse payment from a rental assistance program managed or funded by a county or city. We can assist you in building your case and verifying your following proper procedures in filing your case with the court. We have litigated hundreds of  similar cases with a 95% success rate.