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.
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.
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.
Years of landlord and property management experience fed my desire to create Rent Court Manager. I understand the hassle of having to take your tenants to court - the days lost at the courthouse and the hours spent trying to track down the status of a case. And let’s not forget the lost rent that quickly racks up for each day in the process ($40/day on average). I wanted to make it simple for the do-it-yourself landlord or property manager to file an eviction. And more importantly, have the confidence that they had “checked all the boxes” and were properly prepared in court.
I am often asked if an attorney is necessary in filing an eviction. While not absolutely necessary (there are agents available to represent you in court), there are several compelling reasons to opt for an attorney. In my experience as a property manager, and having spent a significant amount of time in Rent Court, I saw many cases where an attorney would have made the difference for the landlord. The benefits of an attorney became crystal clear for me.
A Money Judgment is necessary to sue the tenant for money damages.
In other words, if you’d like to collect your back rent after an eviction, a money judgement is necessary.