Maryland Eviction Notices

Maryland eviction notices are tools used in the initial stages of the eviction process. Landlords will use an eviction notice to instruct tenants on the reason their tenancy is ending, how much time they have to gather their belongings and vacate, and whether or not they can retain their tenancy by correcting their infractions. Each notice specifies a period in which the tenant must comply with the landlord’s conditions. If the notice period expires and the tenant has not vacated or otherwise complied, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against them. The legal action will either be a Summary Ejectment (non-payment of rent), Breach of Lease (lease violations), or Tenant Holding Over (failure to vacate after the lease expires).

Notice Types

Maryland 10-Day Notice to Quit | Non-Payment

The Maryland 10-day notice to quit is a letter given out of respect by the landlord to inform the tenant they are behind on their rent. Use of this notice is required before the landlord pursues an eviction lawsuit. The …

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Maryland 14 Day Notice to Quit | Clear and Imminent Danger

The Maryland fourteen (14) day notice to quit is an eviction letter used to terminate the tenancy of an individual who severely violates their lease. According to § 8–402.1(a)(2)(B), the tenant’s violations must pose a “clear and imminent” danger to the dwelling, themselves, other …

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Maryland 30 Day Notice to Comply or Quit

The Maryland thirty (30) day notice to comply or quit informs a tenant that they have thirty (30) days to either fix their lease violations or vacate the rental unit. If the tenant fails to fix (i.e., “cure”) the violations or move …

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How to Evict a Tenant (Process)

Maryland landlords can initiate the eviction process after the tenant violates the terms of their lease, neglects to pay rent, or fails to vacate after the expiration of their term. The majority of eviction cases require the landlord to notify the tenant in writing of their transgressions and provide them with a period in which to comply. After the notice period elapses, the landlord may file a complaint with the district court to evict the tenant from the rented property.

Note: Evictions are governed differently in Baltimore City and Montgomery County. While the majority of the process will be the same, landlords in these locations should contact their local district court to inform themselves of any discrepancies.

Step 1 – Draft an Eviction Notice

Landlords must begin by considering the reason the tenant is being evicted and whether or not the circumstance requires an eviction notice. A written eviction notice, or “Notice to Quit,” must be served to the tenant in all cases except for non-payment of rent. This step is essential as it informs the tenant of the reason their tenancy is being terminated, the period in which they must vacate, and what measures, if any, they can take to stop the eviction.

The landlord should proceed by preparing one (1) of the following eviction notices:

30-Day Notice to Comply or Quit – Used to inform a tenant that they are in violation of their lease or rental agreement. The tenant will have thirty (30) days to either cure their violations or move out.
14-Day Notice to Quit – Used to evict a tenant that has created a clear and imminent danger on the premises of the leased property. The tenant must vacate the dwelling within fourteen (14) days following the date the notice is received.
1-Month Notice to Quit – Used to cancel a month-to-month tenancy. The tenant will be required to vacate the rental unit by the final date of the month.

A written notice is not required when the eviction is for non-payment of rent. However, the landlord may still wish to notify the tenant of the impending eviction as a courtesy. In these situations, the landlord can serve the tenant with an Immediate Notice to Quit.

Step 2 – Serve the Notice to the Tenant

After the notice is prepared, the landlord should make several copies before arranging to have it served on the tenant (a clerk of the court will be able to provide information on how the notice must be served). Generally, the landlord can personally deliver the notice to the tenant or another resident of the rented property. Other cases may require the landlord to employ the services of the sheriff’s department or a private process server (a fee will be required).

Step 3 – File the Complaint

The tenant will have until the final date of the notice period to comply with the landlord’s terms. If the notice period expires and the tenant has not paid their rent, corrected their non-compliances, or moved out, the landlord can terminate the tenancy and commence the court proceedings by filing a Complaint form.

All eviction forms must be obtained from a clerk of the court. The following documents are to be used as samples only (additional paperwork may be necessary if the landlord is attempting to collect money damages):

Non-Payment of Rent – Failure to Pay Rent – Landlord’s Complaint for Repossession of Rented Property.

Tenant Fails to Vacate After Lease Expires – Complaint and Summons Against a Tenant Holding Over.

Occupant (not Tenant) Fails to Vacate – Complaint for Wrongful Detainer or Grantor in Possession.

Non-Compliance with Lease Terms – Complaint and Summons Against Tenant in Breach of Lease.

The eviction complaint can be filed online using the E-filing service or in person at the district court in the county where the leased property is located. A filing fee will be required at the time of submission (fee schedule).

Step 4 – Arrange for Service of Process

After filing with the district court, a clerk will schedule a trial date and enter this information in the eviction Complaint. The landlord must arrange to have a copy of the Complaint served to the tenant by the sheriff’s department (a fee may be required). The sheriff or a constable will attempt to personally deliver the papers to the tenant. If personal service is not possible, they will post a copy of the notice to a conspicuous place on the property.

Step 5 – Attend the Eviction Trial

Both the landlord and tenant must appear in court for the eviction trial. The landlord should ensure to bring copies of all supporting paperwork such as the lease, eviction notice, photographs, court forms, receipts, etc. In the event that the tenant does not attend the trial, a default judgment will be issued in the landlord’s favor.

Step 6 – File the Warrant of Restitution

If the landlord wins the lawsuit and the tenant does not vacate, the landlord will need to file a Warrant of Restitution with the court allowing them to reclaim the leased property. The landlord must wait four (4) business days before filing the Warrant if the eviction is for non-payment of rent. In all other eviction circumstances, the Warrant can be issued immediately. A filing fee will be required (a clerk can be contacted for current rates). After filing, the court will set a date by which the tenant must vacate. Certain courts will arrange for the sheriff’s department to have a constable serve the Warrant on the tenant.

Step 7 – Tenant’s Right to Redemption and Appeals Bond

For cases of failure to pay rent, the tenant may be given the right to stop the eviction by paying the total amount owed before the final eviction date. However, this right may be waived by the court if the tenant has a history of failing to pay rent on time. The tenant may also appeal the final judgment within four (4) days for cases of non-payment and ten (10) days for all other eviction circumstances.

Step 8 – Evict the Tenant

If the tenant continues to possess the dwelling by the date scheduled on the Warrant for Restitution, the sheriff or a constable will have the authorization to visit the home and remove them from the premises (the landlord must attend the eviction to allow the constable entry into the residence). It will be the landlord’s duty to remove the tenant’s personal belongings and bring them to the nearest public right-of-way.