This guide provides a step-by-step process for filing a Failure to Pay Rent action in in The District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.
Filing the Complaint
The first step is filing a Failure to Pay Rent Form (DC-CV-082) with the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore, City located at 501 E. Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. The current form is a carbonless multi-part form and will need to be picked up from the Court.
Summons and Service of Process
Once the case is filed, the Court will issue a summons. The Court will mail copies of the summons and complaint to the tenant and the Sheriff will post the documents on the property. This gives the tenant notice that he/she may be evicted and that a hearing has been set regarding the tenant’s alleged failure to pay rent.
On the day of the trial/hearing, the landlord will be the first to present their side of the argument regarding the amount of unpaid rent. The tenant will then present their side of the story. After trial/hearing from both sides, the Court will determine whether the tenant does, in fact, owe the alleged amount of rent. If the Court determines that the tenant does owe the landlord unpaid rent, the Court may enter judgment for possession in favor of the landlord.
*The landlord should bring to the hearing all documents and evidence that support their claim including the Lease, ledgers, tenant records, canceled checks, receipts and any photographs.*
If a Party Fails to Appear
If either party fails to appear to the trial/hearing, the Court may postpone the trial/hearing, issue a judgment, or dismiss the case.
The Tenant's Right of Redemption
Once judgment for possession has been entered, the tenant no longer has the right to live in the property. The tenant can avoid eviction by paying the amount of unpaid rent, plus court costs, at any time before the eviction date. However, if the tenant has four (4) judgments of possession entered against them within 12 months, the landlord may ask the Court to deny the tenant’s right to redeem.
Filing for Eviction
The landlord must wait four business days following the judgment to begin the eviction process. After four business days, the landlord may ask the Court to issue a warrant by filing the Warrant of Restitution (DC-CV-081). This is also a carbonless multi-part form that must be picked up from the Court. The landlord has 60 days following the judgment to file the Warrant of Restitution or the case will be dismissed.
Notice of Eviction Recommended
After the Warrant of Restitution is filed, the Court will enter a judgment and the Sheriff will set a date for eviction. The landlord does not have to give the tenant notice of the eviction date. However, notice is recommended so the tenant has a chance to remove personal property.
Performing the Eviction
On the date of the eviction, the landlord or an agent will need to be present at the property. The landlord should come prepared to change the locks. Furthermore, following the eviction, the landlord will have the duty to dispose of the tenant’s belongings in an appropriate manner.
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