A critical and often overlooked step when filing a failure to pay rent action on their tenant in Rent Court in Maryland is the military service verification. If a copy of the completed DOD Military Service Verification is not included as part of the filing, its probable your case will be thrown out and the tenant will win. It shows the judge that the landlord has failed to meet minimum basic requirements. Below are instructions on how to do a single search lookup.
The following list of Maryland Counties shows which have requirements. Use this to assist with your eviction filing based on the location of your property. If it’s required and you file without evidence of registration or license, your case will be dismissed. You'll want to verify and research yourself to be certain of your obligations as a landlord.
An open letter to Ben Carson of HUD, Linda McMahon from the SBA, and President Donald Trump (who should know a thing or two about housing).
If you like what you read below, please support the effort. This letter has been commissioned in petition form and there is a call to action under the letter to sign the petition.
Landlords, we have an opportunity to demonstrate support for an important legislative bill that impacts all of us.
Tenant advocates are showing up in droves to oppose Senate Bill 493. We need your support to ensure this bill passes!
Many of us landlords have experienced losses as a result of the Felicia Locket vs. Blue Ocean Case. Because of that case, most judges are not allowing utilities to be included in Rent Court cases. Because "rent" has not been defined by the legislature, landlords who request that utilities be included, such as unpaid water bills, are subject to each judge's interpretation of the case.
Why do we need Senate Bill 493 to pass?
- to create consistency and clarity statewide among District Court Judges; and
- to allow the terms of a lease, as signed by both the Landlord and Tenant ,be enforced; and
- to allow for unpaid utilities to be included in Rent Court filings.
Baltimore City County Council Bill 18-0185:
On Monday, January 22nd, the Baltimore City Council introduced a licensing bill that has been in the works for some time. Some may recall an article I wrote last year on the topic. Mounting mayoral political pressure and a March 2017 report by the Center of Community Progress were catalysts for what was an inevitable rental regulation strategy for the city - a licensing bill for one and two-unit rentals. It wasn't a question of if, but when. The City Housing and Community Development Leadership Team deserve a ton of credit for their outreach and overriding goal to be inclusive in their aim to create responsible legislation.
As a member of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, and a voice for the small business and independent landlord, there were two occasions to meet in person and help give this bill some shape. There was also an opportunity to provide feedback on the drafts. Many suggested elements have been incorporated in some way, shape or form. The language drafting and thoughtfulness that went into creating Bill 18-0185 was a measured and methodical approach in an attempt to create responsible legislation.
Is it without concerns? No. However, it could be a lot worse.
One of the top questions I receive from do-it-yourself landlords is:
“Can I include water bills in my rent court eviction filing if the tenant signed a lease proving they are responsible for paying for water consumption?”
The short answer is, it usually depends on the judge.
Many thanks to everyone who voiced your opposition to potentially unconstitutional legislation introduced last month by the Baltimore City Council. I am happy to report that Baltimore City Bill 17-0113 has been placed "on hold," which I believe is a result of collective efforts by those who quickly stepped up in opposition. I can't thank you enough for joining the conversation and being a part of the collective voice for do-it-yourself landlords.
Baltimore City Council has overstepped their legal reach by introducing potentially Unconstitutional legislation.
On Monday, August 14th, the City Council introduced a bill that will be devastating to Baltimore City Landlords. And as with most legislation, if passed, it can be a catalyst for adoption into surrounding counties, and potentially the state. Your voice needs to be added to the conversation!
Housing matters between landlords and tenants are usually heard by the District Court, in a special Rent Court docket. Baltimore created the nation’s first Rent Court to hear housing cases between landlords and tenants. On a typical day, 800-1,000 cases are heard. In some counties, the pace at which housing cases are heard can be fast, depending on the whether or not the landlord and/or tenant appears and evidence (or lack thereof) presented.