End of COVID-19 State of Emergency Orders in Maryland – Evictions Pending?

The state of emergency declared last year – March 2020- in Maryland by Larry Hogan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is now over. 

Indeed, the state of Maryland has successfully vaccinated its residents, exceeding the Biden administration’s goal of having more than 70 percent of adults vaccinated by July 4, 2021. So, what does the end of the COVID-19 emergency orders mean in practice? Keep reading to learn more!!!

Here’s what’s changing now that Maryland’s state of emergency is lifted

People have been wearing face masks during the pandemic as a means of protection. Now, facemasks are no longer required in many places, including schools and summer camps. On the other hand, businesses and workplace can still set their policies, but there is a federal rule that states masks must be worn in transportation centers such as airports or subways.

For 45 days (From July 1 to August 15, 2021), Marylanders are subject to what the Hogan administration calls an “administrative grace period.” During this time, specific regulations will continue to be enforced to complete the transition out of the pandemic. Among the ordinances falling under this grace period are those related to evictions and seizures, driver’s license renewals, and remote notarization of documents. 

“While the End of COVID-19 State of Emergency Orders is an essential step in our recovery from the pandemic, it does not mean that this virus and its variants are no longer a threat. People who have been vaccinated are safe. However, people who have not been vaccinated will remain at risk”, Said Larry Hogan.

What about tenant protections? 

With the end of eviction moratoriums on the horizon (August 15, 2021), some tenants’ rights advocates are concerned that the state of Maryland could see a wave of evictions.  

Indeed, on April 3, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an executive order, which applied to cases of rent default and lease breakage. As long as Maryland’s state of emergency was in effect and the order remained the same, judges could not order the evictions of a tenant if the tenant suffered a substantial loss of income due to the COVID-19.  Judges were required to consider evidence of the tenant’s loss of income at the hearing before making their decision.

According to the order, if a tenant rises is defense successfully, the court will determine the amount due for possession but may reserve entry of judgment until the Governor’s Order does not prohibit the judgment. Once the Governor’s Order expires (August 15, 2021), the court may enter judgment for possession without a request from any party. 

Moreover, the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued an order that says landlords cannot evict a tenant before July 31, 2021, if the tenant gives the landlord a declaration that they meet certain conditions. The tenant must state That :

  • Tenant did their best to get governmental assistance (rental);
  • Earn less than 99,000USD;
  • Did their best to make timely partial payments (if possible);
  • Had lost of income or have had unusual medical expenses;