This is 1 0f 3 series on the Maryland eviction process: The 4 Steps in Defining Eviction
Whether a renter has defaulted on rent, are in breach of contract, or otherwise; Eviction procedures can be a daunting and confusing subject in the state of Maryland.
Eviction is defined as “the action of expelling someone, especially a tenant, from a property.” But what does that mean and how does the process actually play out?
If the required notice has been delivered to a resident and they do not voluntarily vacate, the landlord can move to evict them.
There are several steps to expect when going forward with an eviction.
Unlawful Detainer. The landlord would first need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in your counties District Court. An unlawful detainer is a summary court procedure and in most cases, court action moves along quickly. The landlord would be listed as the “plaintiff” whereas the resident would be listed as the “defendant”. A hearing will be scheduled and all parties must be present.
Hearing. The court will hold a hearing where both parties can present their evidence and explain their case. The judge will then decide the verdict and rule in favor of either the landlord or resident. If the court rules that the landlord is victorious the resident will be ordered to vacate the premises immediately.
Warrant of Restitution: If 4 days after the hearing the tenant does not vacate the property a warrant of restitution will need to be filed with the district court. Once this is filed the sheriff will issue a write of possession and set an eviction date and time within 30 days. If the resident does not vacate, they will still be locked out of the home and there possessions will be removed to the public right of way at the landlords expense.
Right of Redemption: At any time in the process the tenant can pay the balance owed in full plus the court costs to remain in the home. They have this right of redemption until the the 4th eviction judgement against them in 1 calendar year. The right of redemption will then be waived.
There are many important factors to consider before filing an unlawful detainer with the court. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be advised that the resident file a Motion to Quash Service of Summons or a Demurrer instead of a simple response.
Eviction can be a difficult process and in the end, nobody really wins. Legal fees, loss of rent, and moving expenses are just a few of the consequences suffered on both sides of an eviction. At Real Property Management, our goal is to provide you, the property owner, with a quality tenant to hopefully avoid such issues in the future. If eviction is unavoidable, whether you are a landlord or a resident, it is best to contact an attorney for guidance and assistance through the eviction process.