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Mark G. Chalpin
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Mark Chalpin’s Answers

158 total


  • Can a landlord sue me after the judge dismissed the case

    I gave my landlord rent money for 4 months in cash lived there for 11 years and always got a receipt from them, now they said I paid no rent, went to court and the judge dismissed the case.

    Mark’s Answer

    It sounds as if the landlord proceeded with a failure to pay rent case. The landlord could subsequently sue civilly for rent. You might be able to use the dismissal to your advantage in a subsequent civil suit. You may want to consult with an attorney.

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  • How can I get out of a rental agreement lease?

    Daughter is looking for an apartment/townhome to rent. She found a rental home and signed the lease. Based on her recommendation, I, Kema as the guarantor, signed the lease. When we inspected the home, this past weekend, there were some issues w...

    Mark’s Answer

    Your main remedies are the following: 1) if you believe the property is uninhabitable, you could vacate and weather a breach of lease claim with the defense of constructive eviction, 2) you could try to negotiate early termination of the lease with the landlord, 3) you could nag the landlord to remedy the deficiencies, 4) you can call the county rental housing inspector to inspect and cite the landlord for deficiencies, and 5) you can petition in your county's district court for rent escrow to pay rent into the court until problems are fixed and possibly be awarded an abatement of rent.

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  • Am I in breach of contract if I do not move into an apartment because it is not ready on the move in date?

    I signed a lease to rent an apartment from 12/1/15 to 12/1/16. The apartment was undergoing renovation and the landlord said all work would be completed by the move in date. The work was not complete and on 12/1/15 I was notified that the work wou...

    Mark’s Answer

    Standard leases generally have a provision that the Landlord must deliver the rental property in a habitable condition. If your lease has language to this effect, your defense against the landlord's rent claim is that the landlord breached the lease by failing to deliver the rental property in habitable condition. At trial, you would have to prove the uninhabitable condition of the rental property.

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  • Can I leave a second year lease if my landlord never made me sign the original year lease documents?

    I have been living in a house in Bethesda since last June 2015. My landlord took my security deposit of $1,000 through paypal before I even received the lease documents. Once I did receive them, he never asked me to sign and send them to him, and ...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A one year lease is only enforceable if it is in writing as the Statute of Frauds applies. From what you're saying, it appears that the one year lease renewal is not enforceable. That leaves a month to month tenancy. You can terminate the tenancy by delivering notice to the landlord (first class mail is fine) this month that you are terminating the tenancy as of 8/31. Then you shouldn't be liable for rent after August.

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  • Renting a house in MD

    I rented a house in MD and the deck is splintering and wobbly. Real estate agent who represents owner had maintenance check it out. Said it was dangerous. They keep putting off fixing it. Is there anything we can do? Is it bad that it may not be u...

    Mark’s Answer

    You can also petition for rent escrow in District Court in Rockville. If a judge agrees the deck presents a safety issue, you'll get to pay your rent into the court until the problem is fixed and may be awarded an abatement of your rent.

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  • Eviction form for someone (boyfriend) you're trying to get out of your rented house but he won't leave

    won't help with any bills and misses work too much - would like to hand him a piece of paper stating I want him out

    Mark’s Answer

    If he is not a co-tenant, you can file a Wrongful Detainer Complaint in District Court in an effort to get him evicted. If he is a co-tenant, you would not be able to evict him.

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  • Landlord walked in apt unnanounced, threatened myself and husband

    our landlord is a bully, 3 weeks ago our apt flooded, the landlords ins co had a water removal co, that removed the water and mold, tore walls ceilings and carpet out. fir 2 weeks our apt sat empty, he sd we didnt have to pay rent until its livabl...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You may want to get a new landlord. You could try negotiating early termination of the lease, stressing that he doesn't want you renting from him and you want out. You might be able to sue him for your hotel bills if you can show he negligently caused the flood.

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  • Am I obligated for the next month's rent? Landlord is threatening to keep security deposit for unpaid rent.

    Signed a year lease, and 60 days prior to the lease ending (Jan) I notified (text) owner of departure. Landlord agreed to month to month and requested time to find a new tenant. Later that month (Jan/Feb ) landlord posted the property, the next t...

    Mark’s Answer

    Generally, to terminate a month-to-month tenancy, either the landlord or tenant must give notice in a prior month through the end of the following month. For example, a notice delivered in June that the tenancy ends on July 31 would end liability for rent as of July. It appears that you did not do this, so your landlord has a viable argument for rent for June 2016.

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  • Is Landlord responsible?

    3 weeks ago an apt (2 floors above) in my building had a lamp fire, all the water from the sprinklers got dumped into our apt, pouring into our ceiling lights. the fire dept told us we couldn't stay there...so my husband & i, our handicap son, ser...

    Mark’s Answer

    It appears from the facts presented that the landlord did not negligently cause the fire and resulting flood in your apartment, so you may not be able to hold the landlord liable for your damages as a result of the water. You can petition for rent escrow in your county's district court to seek an abatement of the rent due to the apartment being uninhabitable for some time. However, if you withhold rent, you are subject to a failure to pay rent complaint by your landlord.

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  • Can I sue my landlord

    My upstairs neighbors smokes marijuana and the smell comes through the vents to my apartment. I have complained several times to the landlord, and they told me that there was not any proof that it was my neighbor, however, they dropped a bag of d...

    Mark’s Answer

    It does not appear that you have the basis for a viable claim against the landlord. You don't appear to have suffered monetary damages. You might try to negotiate early termination of your lease with the landlord. You could also just move out and try to weather a breach of lease lawsuit by the landlord with a constructive eviction defense that the rental unit was unlivable due to the problems you've cited.

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