Maryland Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Maryland and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Maryland

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, violation of rental agreement terms & being a “hold-over” tenant
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: Landlord may evict as early as 1 day after rent is due (by filing Summary Ejectment case)
  • Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: One-month Notice to discontinue rental relationship for month-to-month tenants; no notice required for fixed-term tenants, but landlord must wait until end of term
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: 14- or 30-Day Notice to Quit, depending on severity of violation
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 14, via Notice to Quit
  • Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: 4 days for evictions due to nonpayment of rent, 10 days for evictions due to lease agreement violations

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Maryland?

At best the question about the amount of time an eviction will take is a difficult one as there are several steps required for a landlord to legally evict a tenant. The amount of time an eviction takes in the state of Maryland depends in part on the amount of notice a landlord is required to provide a tenant before he/she may proceed with the eviction process.

The eviction process is in some ways more streamlined in the state of Maryland, as the landlord is not required to provide tenants the opportunity to pay rent prior to filing a Complaint and Summons with the court. When a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may proceed by filing a Complaint and Summons the next day. However, the tenant will have until the date of the trial to pay all outstanding charges and negate the eviction process.

The amount of notice required for tenants who have violated the terms of the lease will depend upon the severity of the violation. As a landlord is required to provide a minimum of a 14-Day Notice prior to seeking an eviction for the violation of the terms of the lease and a 30-Day Notice when seeking to remove an at-will tenant from a rental property, it is easy to see that this continues to be a time intensive process.

Generally, the length of time an eviction can be expected to take will depend upon the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.

Reasons for Eviction in Maryland

In the state of Maryland, it is legal for a landlord to evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. These reasons include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement
  • Failing to move out when the lease ends (referred to as “holding over”)

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

When a tenant is late with the rent, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summary ejectment case with the district court in the county where the property is located. The court will instruct the county sheriff to serve the tenant with a copy of the complaint. This service will be made either by personal delivery by the sheriff’s office or first-class mail delivery. A trial will be held the fifth day after the case was filed with the court, and both sides will be allowed time to present their case to the judge.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant who faces eviction for failing to pay rent will have four days to move from the property. If the tenant remains on the property after the four days allowed, the landlord has 60 days to ask the court for a Warrant of Restitution. This warrant allows the sheriff to support the landlord in removing the tenant and his/her personal property from the rental property. If the tenant pays all outstanding rent, fees, and court costs prior to the eviction order being carried out, he/she will be allowed to continue as a tenant due to “the right of redemption.” If there have been three or more past judgements against the tenant, the “right of redemption” is void.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

In the state of Maryland a landlord may evict a tenant without cause when there is no written lease. He/she is however, required to provide a written One-Month Notice of his/her intention to discontinue the rental relationship (M.C.A. 8-402(b)(3), (b)(4). If the tenant fails to vacate the property within the month, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

The amount of notice a landlord is required to provide when a tenant has violated a term of the lease or rental agreement depends upon the severity of the violation (M.C.A. 8-402) When the tenant has committed a minor violation, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written 30-Day Notice before he/she can proceed with the eviction process. If a tenant or tenant’s guest, behaves in such a way as to create a “clear and present” danger to self, other tenants, the landlord, or the property the landlord may provide the tenant with a written 14-Day Notice to Quit before he/she may proceed with the eviction process.

If the tenant remains on the property after the amount of time indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

In the state of Maryland, a tenant may be evicted for illegal activity that creates a “clear and present” danger to self, other tenants, the landlord, or the rental property. To evict a tenant for such behavior, a landlord must first provide a 14-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant refuses to leave the property within the timeframe established in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?

In order to evict an “at-will” month-to-month tenant, a landlord must provide the tenant with a written One-Month Notice of his intention to discontinue the rental arrangement (M.C.A. 8-402(b)(3), (b)(4). If the tenant fails to move by the end of the month provided, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court.

Read more about tenants at will here.

If a landlord wishes to remove an “at-will” tenant when there is a fixed-term rental arrangement, he/she must wait until the end of the rental term unless he/she has cause to remove the tenant. Once the term of the rental arrangement has ended, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court. When a fixed-term rental arrangement has reached the end of its term, the landlord is not required to provide the tenant with notice prior to proceeding with the eviction process. Therefore, the landlord may file a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer with the court on the day following the end of the term or the rental arrangement.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Maryland?

In Maryland, a tenant may not be evicted for organizing or joining a tenants’ group or filing a complaint or lawsuit against his/her landlord. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant based on his/her race, gender, religion, familial status, disability status, age, nation of origin, gender identification, or sexual orientation.

When a Complaint and Summons in Wrongful Detainer is Filed

The sheriff or constable will serve the tenant with a copy of the complaint. The court hearing will be held five days after the complaint is filed. Unless the landlord is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, the case may be heard in the District Court of the county in which the property lies. Trials for damages in excess of $15,000 may be heard by the Circuit Court if a jury trial is requested.

Once Eviction Occurs

s If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant has four days (if evicted for nonpayment of rent) or 10 days (if evicted for violations of the terms of the lease or rental agreement) to file an appeal. The tenant will be required to post a bond to cover rent for the time the case is in appeal.

Unlike many other states, the state of Maryland does not provide specific details regarding personal items that have been left at the rental property after an eviction.

Make sure to read the Md. Code, Real Property §§ 8-401, 8-402 & 8-402.1 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Maryland Landlords & Tenants