Rent Court / Eviction Terms

Affected Property
Rentals built before 1950. Rooming houses, commercial properties and properties built after 1950 are exempt from MDE registration requirements.

Any “change” to the original court filing.

Back Rent 
Any rent owed to you other than the current month/late charge. This may include previous month’s rent/water bill etc. as allowed by jurisdiction collectible in rent court.

Case Continued/Postponed 
Terms are used interchangeably. A case, for whatever reason, may be rescheduled to a future day.

A case, for whatever reason, is no longer “alive”. A case may be voluntarily dismissed by the landlord (or us as the landlord’s agent) in case of a full payment prior to the court date. The case may be dismissed by the judge due to lack of vital information on the notice or if the case was not served properly to the tenant.

Failure To Pay Rent Complaint (FTP) 
Also known as a “Rent Notice”. This is the form tenant initiates the process for a landlord to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. It is a legal document and must be fully and accurately completed and signed under penalty of perjury.

Future Rent 
The court sometimes allows a landlord to seek rent for the following month if the court date will fall after the due date of the rent. We do not allow “future rent” in the normal course of filing. If a landlord calls and specifically requests future rent, it may be hand written in to the notice.

Judgment By Consent 
The tenant shows up for court and agrees to the amount claimed on the notice.

Judgment By Default 
Tenant does not show up for court

Judgment For Possession.
“Normal” rent court Judgments are for possession of the property. The tenant has the right to “redeem” possession of the property by paying the judgment amount and the actual court costs. The exception is a judgment that was awarded without a “Right of Redemption” .

This is the location where the case will be heard. It is always the City/County in which the rental property is located. It is imperative that you select the correct Jurisdiction on the website so that it is properly filed.

Late Charge 
Under Maryland law for residential properties, the late charge may not exceed 5% of the monthly contract rent, even if your lease makes for other provisions. For a subsidized property, the maximum late charge is 5% of the tenant’s portion For a weekly rental, the maximum late charge is 3.00 per week, no matter what the rent is.

Lead Paint Certificate (MDE)
All affected properties must be registered with MDE. This is a separate registration that the Baltimore City registration. The correct number to be entered on the rent notice is located at the right top section of the certificate. A new lead certificate is required each time a new tenant moves into the property. Your owner # (tracking #) is the number assigned to you by MOE as the owner.

Maryland Department of the Environment  -click-

Money Judgment 
A landlord may seek a monetary judgment in addition to a typical judgment for possession. With a money judgment, the landlord may convert the judgment to a civil case, and place a lien on the tenant/garnish their wages. In order for us to obtain a money judgment, the following must take place.
1. The notice must be filed with an attached “Proof of Service”- It can not be requested after- the- fact.
2. Personal service on the tenant must be successful (either by the sheriff or a private process server).
3. The judge must grant the money judgment at court.

A written request to the Court, filed with the Count, to make a change to the original filing, such as a postponement or a new hearing based on new information obtained after the trial.

The court requires that the tenant be notified of a rent notice court date via
1. Regular Mail
2. Sheriff or Constable Posting of the Property
Notice must be successful by both methods. If not successful, the case is dismissed and the case must be refiled. The most common cause of the post office returning the mail is an insufficient (wrong zip code, incomplete address, misspelled street, etc.) The most common reason(s) that a sheriff will be unable to post a property is:
1.) The property (single family) lacks house numbers affixed to the property
2.) The doors (multi-family) are not marked as they appear on the notice    (ie: the notice reads “First Floor Apt” and the door is labeled “1”, or vice- versa)

No Right of Redemption 
In Baltimore City, if you have 4 prior judgments within the previous 12 months you may request on the 5th filing “No Right of Redemption” by the tenant. “Judgment” is defined as a rent case in which the ruling was in the favor of the landlord. Dismissed cases or cases ruled in favor of the tenant are not counted.
“No Right of Redemption” means that even if the tenant produces the balance due the landlord still has the right to eviction the tenant. In Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Howard County, 3 prior judgments (file onthe 4th) are sufficient to seek “No Right of Redemption”. The case numbers and court dates of the previous judgments must be listed correctly on the notice at the time of filing.
also see- Maryland Legal Aid
 People’s Law Library

On occasion, the sheriff does not return the paperwork to the court. The court will order that the process will “begin again” without a charge to the filer. A new date for the case will be mailed to us.

The “rent” is the monthly or weekly contract rent as reflected in the lease. In some jurisdictions, water bills, environmental fines, HOE bills etc. may be considered as “additional rent” if your lease specifically states it as “additional rent”. (See lease tips). Security deposits are not considered “rent”. Currently, ONLY water bills are considered “additional rent” if the lease provides for it. IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR THE LEASE TO STATE MERELY THAT THE TENANT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT.

Rent Escrow 
If a tenant has significant repair issues that involve a threat to life, health or safety, they may request to pay their rent to the court, rather than the landlord. An inspection is done to the property and the court holds the money until the repairs are made. Once the repairs are made, the funds (minus possible concessions made to the tenant) are released to the landlord.

Someone that has taken illegal possession of the property

Tenant Holding Over
Landlord has given the tenant proper notice to vacate the property, the date has passed and the tenant remains in the property.

Warrant of Restitution 
Referred to as an Eviction Notice (also known as a Put-Out Notice) The second and final notice filed with the court in the regular process.