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Can landlord evict with a personal 30 day written notice? Or by law, file through State of Maryland courts?

Gaithersburg, MD |

Original lease was for 6 months, then was month-to-month. I've been here 2 1/2 years. I am currently paid up on rent, and even through landlords 30-day eviction date. However, over the years I paid my rent late a lot of months.

My landlord has been excellent working with me through some financial and personal hardships, so I understand her position in wanting the eviction. I'm seeking help through the local department of social services to assist with housing for the kids and myself. The Social worker will only help with an actual court-issued eviction notice.

What is the Maryland law with eviction notices? Also, with past experiences, I remember the sheriff serving first document for the eviction. So do we have 30 days from that point to be moved out?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The landlord cannot use "self help," meaning he must file for a judgment of possession from the court. After that, a "writ of possession" is issued and sent over to the Sheriff's department. Before executing the writ of possession (which will be the day the Sheriff arrives and orders you and your possessions out onto the street), the Sheriff will post a written notice on your door that the property is subject to "immediate eviction" or some similar statement. this is different from the mailed notice sent from the court or the landlord. It usually takes a month or more to get this notice following the court date granting possession to the landlord. These notices are posted by custom in Montgomery County at least 10 days before the scheduled eviction date. The Sheriff will NOT tell you when the actual eviction date will be, so you will be unable to get that information. The eviction process takes some time, including your being served with a civil complaint for eviction in District Court, the scheduling of a court date, etc., followed by the issuance of the writ of possession. Because your lease term is month-to-month, you cannot "redeem" the premises simply by paying all rent due. Hopefully you find suitable housing for yourself and your family. Good luck to you.


  2. From what you have stated - it does not appear that your landlord is "evicting" you. Rather, if you are on a month-month lease, the landlord has the right to terminate the lease, just as you have the same right to leave with sufficient notice. Here, 30 days notice is sufficient to ask you to vacate, thus terminating the lease. If the landlord wanted to evict you - then they would have to go through the District Court.

    However, there are exceptions in Montgomery County and in Baltimore City that require more than 30 days notice if you live in certain single-family rentals.

    If you stay past the 30 days, then you will be considered "holding over" and then the landlord can seek help in the District Court to have the Sheriff assist in removing you from the home.

    This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.


  3. A landlord cannot evict you; only a court can issue an eviction order. All eviction proceedings must go through a court and be by court order.

    As a month to month tenant, you are known as a "tenant at will." This means that either you or the landlord can terminate a lease upon 30 days notice. Note, however, some counties require more notice...Montgomery County and Baltimore City require a landlord to give 60 days notice. Since it appears you are in Gaithersburg, you are in Montgomery County.

    In Montgomery County, Landlords of multi-family properties are required to give month-to-month tenants two months’ notice to vacate. Landlords of single-family rental properties are required to give month-to-month tenants a one-month notice to vacate. If you are not in a single-family rental property, your landlord's notice of 30 days would be insufficient.

    For more information, the Montgomery County Landlord/Tenant Handbook can be found at the link below:
    http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DHCA/housing/landlord_T/pdf/lthandbook.pdf

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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