Maryland Eviction Process

Maryland Eviction Process

Last Updated: December 28, 2023 by Phil Ahn

Evicting a tenant in Maryland can take around 3 weeks to 5 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

Depending on the grounds for eviction, the landlord must give proper notice and provide the tenant a chance to cure the violation.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 10 Days Yes
End of Lease or No Lease 60 Days No
Lease Violations 30 Days Yes
Imminent Threat or Serious Harm 14 Days No

Nonpayment of Rent

In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 10 days’ notice to quit, which gives the tenant a chance to pay the balance due or move out.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each month and is considered late in Maryland the day immediately after its due date. Maryland landlords are not required to give tenants a rent payment grace period. However, if the lease or rental agreement allows for one, then the landlord must honor it.

example

If rent is due on March 1st, it will be considered late starting on March 2nd, unless the lease specifically states there is a grace period.

If the tenant does not pay the balance due or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

note

For nonpayment of rent cases, the tenant can stop the eviction process by paying the rent balance due, including late fees and court costs, to the landlord at the trial or adjournment of the trial in accordance with Maryland law.

End of Lease or No Lease

In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant who does not have a lease (“tenant at will”) or has a lease that has terminated and continues to remain on the premises (“holdover tenant”). To do so, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant 60-day notice to move out.

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Lease Violations

In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their legal responsibilities under Maryland landlord-tenant law. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 30 days’ notice to comply or vacate, which gives the tenant a chance to fix the issue or move out.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Failing to maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner
  • Allowing unauthorized occupants or pets to reside in the rental unit
  • Causing minor property damage
  • Refusing to give the landlord access to the rental unit
  • Using the plumbing, electrical or other fixtures in an unreasonable or unsafe manner
  • Interfering with the peace and enjoyment of other persons

If the tenant does not fix the issue or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Imminent Threat or Serious Harm

In Maryland, a landlord can evict a tenant for demonstrating an imminent threat or causing serious harm to other persons or themselves. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 14 days’ notice to vacate.

The tenant does not have the option to fix the violation and must move out within the 14-day period.

In Maryland, imminent threats or serious harm include:

  • Endangering or causing serious harm to other tenants, the landlord or any other person on the premises
  • Demonstrating an imminent threat or causing serious harm to themselves

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Evictions in Maryland

In Maryland, there are a few different types of evictions that are 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.

“Self-Help” Evictions

A landlord is not allowed to attempt 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.

Retaliatory Evictions

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 or participating in a lawsuit that involves the landlord
  • Participating in a tenant’s organization
  • Informing the landlord of lead poisoning hazards

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Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

In Maryland, the eviction process follows the same process:

  1. Landlord serves tenant with written notice of violations
  2. Landlord files lawsuit with the court
  3. Court holds hearing and issues judgment
  4. Writ of restitution is issued
  5. Possession of property is returned

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in Maryland by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered using one of the following methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person
  2. Handing the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion AND mailing the notice by first class mail with a certificate of mailing
  3. Mailing the notice by first class mail with a certificate of mailing
  4. Sending the notice electronically, if elected by the tenant in writing, via any of the following: email message, text message or electronic tenant portal
tip

Landlords should always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court.

10-Day Notice to Quit

In Maryland, if a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial), the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 10 days to pay the balance due or vacate the premises.

note

The tenant can stop the eviction process by paying the rent balance due, including late fees and court costs, to the landlord at the trial or adjournment of the trial in accordance with Maryland law.

60-Day Notice to Vacate

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Maryland, the landlord can serve them a 60-Day Notice to Vacate to terminate the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 60 days to move out.

For tenants that don’t pay rent monthly, the amount of notice differs:

Lease Type Notice Amount
Week-to-Week

(Written Lease)

7 Days
Week-to-Week

(No Lease)

21 Days
Month-to-Month /

Less than 1 Year

60 Days
Year-to-Year 90 Days

In Montgomery County, a landlord can serve the tenant a 30-day notice to vacate to terminate a month-to-month lease or a tenancy of less than one (1) year in a single-family dwelling.

30-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate

In Maryland, if a tenant commits a minor violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 30 days to fix the issue or move out.

14-Day Notice to Vacate

In Maryland, if a tenant demonstrates an imminent threat or causes serious harm to other persons or themselves, the landlord can serve them a 14-Day Notice to Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 14 days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

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.

For rental properties located in the city of Baltimore, filing fees are $25 for nonpayment of rent evictions, and $56 for all other evictions.

The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by the sheriff or constable prior to the eviction hearing through one of the following methods:

  1. Sending a copy by first class mail
  2. Serving a copy to the tenant in person
  3. 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.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Holds Hearing and 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 5 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 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.

Eviction Writ of Restitution on iPropertyManagement.com

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.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

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.

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.

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.

Step Estimated Time
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

Maryland Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

Maryland Eviction Court Fees

The total cost of an eviction in Maryland for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily depending on the type of eviction. For nonpayment eviction cases filed in District Court, the average cost is $70. For all other types of eviction cases filed in District Court, the average cost is $101.

Fee District
Initial Court Filing $15+
Summons Service $5+
Warrant of Restitution Issuance ~$10
Warrant of Restitution Service $40
Notice of Appeal Filing (Optional) $175+
Document Copies (Optional) $0.50/ea

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