Steps of the eviction process in Maryland:
- Landlord serves notice to tenant.
- Landlord files lawsuit with court.
- Court holds hearing and issues judgment.
- Writ of restitution is issued.
- Possession of property is returned.
Evicting a tenant in Maryland can take around three weeks to five months, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a continuance or file an appeal, the process can take longer.
Grounds for an Eviction in Maryland
In Maryland, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or not upholding responsibilities under Maryland law. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.
|Nonpayment of Rent||No Notice||Maybe|
|End of / No Lease||30 Days||No|
|Lease Violation||14 or 30 Days||No|
Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent
In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late the following day. Once rent is late, the landlord does not need to provide the tenant with prior notice to vacate the rental unit may immediately file an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent in Maryland.
However, the tenant may stop the eviction process if rent is paid in full (including any late fees and court costs). To avoid eviction, payment must be made before the judge makes the final decision. If the court is satisfied with the tenant’s payment, the eviction process will not continue, and the tenant can remain on the property.
Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease
In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).
Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities
In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Maryland landlord-tenant law. Landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct lease violations.
Tenant responsibilities include:
- Keeping the unit in a safe and habitable condition.
- Keeping fixtures clean and sanitary.
- Making small repairs and maintenance.
- Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors.
For more minor offenses, the landlord must provide a 30 days’ notice to move out.
Examples of minor lease violations include:
- Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
- Parking in an unauthorized area.
- Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.
For more serious offenses, landlords are only required to give tenants 14 days’ notice to move out.
Examples of serious violations include:
- Endangering or causing serious harm to themselves, other tenants, or the landlord.
- Damaging the rental unit.
- Illegal activity.
Illegal Evictions in Maryland
In Maryland, any of the below is illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay the tenant an amount equal to three month’s rent, reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs.
No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:
- Changing the locks.
- Shutting off utilities.
- Removing tenant belongings.
A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:
- Complaining about a violation of the lease, violation of law, or habitability issue to the landlord or any public authority tasked to enforce the law.
- Filing a lawsuit against the landlord or testifying/participating in a lawsuit that involves the landlord.
- Participating in a tenant’s organization.
- Informing the landlord of lead poisoning hazards.
Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant
A landlord can begin the eviction process in Maryland by serving the tenant with written notice. Maryland doesn’t specify at the state level how eviction notices must be delivered; however, common delivery methods include:
- Sending a copy by first class mail.
- Serving a copy to the tenant in person.
- Posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the rental property AND mailing a copy via first class mail.
It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and serve
30-Day Notice to Quit
In Maryland, if a tenant commits a minor violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 30 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.
Additionally, for a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Maryland, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.
For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Amount|
These notice periods don’t apply to the city of Baltimore or to Montgomery County.
For example, in Montgomery County, tenancies that are at least month-to-month but less than year-to-year must be given two months’ notice to move out prior to filing an eviction lawsuit (except in the case of a single-family dwelling).
14-Day Notice to Quit
In Maryland, if a tenant commits an illegal activity or a serious violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 14-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 14 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.
Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court
As the next step in the eviction process, Maryland landlords must file a complaint in the District Court of the county where the renal unit is located. In the state of Maryland (except the city of Baltimore), this costs $15 in filing fees for nonpayment of rent evictions, and $46 in filing fees for all other evictions.
- Sending a copy by first class mail;
- Serving a copy to the tenant in person; or
- Posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the rental property AND mailing a copy via first class mail.
Giving a copy to the tenant is not a requirement unless the landlord is also requesting a monetary judgment against the tenant, such as a past-due rent amount or the amount of costs to repair the rental unit.
A few days, depending on the service method used.
Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment
The reason for the eviction determines when the eviction hearing will be held.
For nonpayment of rent evictions, the hearing must be held five days after the complaint is filed with the court.
For all other types of the evictions, Maryland law doesn’t specify how quickly the hearing must be held after the complaint is filed.
For evictions due to lease violations or holding over after the lease or rental agreement term expires, parties may request a 6-10 day continuance, meaning the hearing would be postponed for another 6-10 days.
For nonpayment of rent evictions, the continuance can only be for one day.
Formal Answer. Tenants are only required to file an answer with the court for nonpayment of rent evictions. If the tenant fails to file an answer in this type of eviction, the judicial officer may rule in the landlord’s favor.
Appeals. Tenants who wish to file an appeal will only have 4 days to do so for nonpayment of rent evictions, while tenants being evicted for a violation of their lease terms or for staying beyond the end of their lease term will have 10 days to appeal.
Regardless of the reason for the eviction, if the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant would have to move out of the rental unit.
If the judicial officer rules in favor of the landlord, regardless of the reason for the eviction, a writ of restitution will be issued, and the eviction process will continue.
1-10 days, depending on the reason for the eviction. If either party requests a continuance this can add another 1-10 days to the process; appeals will add another 1-10 days.
Step 4: Writ of Restitution Is Issued
The writ of restitution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff or constable returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant. The landlord must order a warrant of restitution within 60 days from the judgement date. If the landlord does not take action, the writ of restitution could expire and be dismissed.
If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the landlord will ask the court to issue a writ of restitution.
For nonpayment of rent evictions, the writ of restitution will be issued four days after the judgment in favor of the landlord.
For all other eviction cases, the writ may be issued immediately.
A few hours to 4 days, depending on the reason for the eviction.
Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned
Tenants must be evicted within 60 days of the date the writ of restitution is issued for all evictions other than nonpayment of rent.
That doesn’t mean tenants automatically have 60 days to move out; it means the latest possible date a tenant could be forcibly removed is 60 days after the writ is issued.
A sheriff or constable could remove the tenant one day after the writ is issued; it all depends on how many other evictions are already scheduled and whether the next available date is a Sunday or a holiday. (Tenants cannot be evicted on Sundays or holidays.)
For nonpayment of rent evictions, tenants may be granted a 15 day stay of execution if a judicial officer finds that moving out immediately would endanger the life or health of the tenant or anyone else living in the rental unit.
Approximately 11-60 days. The tenant will have 1-60 days at the most once the writ of restitution has been issued to move out of the rental unit, depending on the reason for the eviction.
Maryland Eviction Process Timeline
In Maryland, an eviction can be completed in 3 weeks to 5 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.
Below are the parts of the Maryland eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.
|Initial Notice Period||7-90 Calendar Days|
|Court Issuing Summons||~3 Business Days|
|Court Serving Summons||~5-10 Business Days|
|Tenant Response Period||4-10 Business Days|
|Court Ruling||1-10 Business Days|
|Court Serving Writ of Restitution||1-60 Business Days|
|Final Notice Period||1-15 Days|
Flowchart of Maryland Eviction Process
- 1 MD. Real Property Code Ann. § 8-401 (2020)
- 2 MD Real Prop Code §8-402 (2020)
- 3 MD Real Prop Code §8-402.1 (2020)
- 4 MD. Real Property Code Ann. § 8-208.1 (2021)
- 5 MD. Real Property Code Ann. § 8-208.1 (2021)
- 6 MD. Real Property Code Ann. § 8-208.2 (2021)
- 7 MD Real Prop Code §8-402 (2020)
- 8 MD Real Prop Code §8-401 (2020)
- 9 MD Real Prop Code §8-402.1 (2020)
- 10 MD Real Prop Code §8-402 (2020)
- 11 MD Real Prop Code §8-401 (2020)
- 12 MD Real Prop Code §8-401 (2020)
- 13 MD Real Prop Code §8-401 (2020)