During landlord-tenant disputes, landlords may seek the arbitration and involvement of Maryland’s district courts to recover property or evict a delinquent tenant. For the best possible outcome, they need to follow legal procedures very closely; failure to do so may result in the dismissal or delay of the dispute case.
We’ll walk you through the steps to take so that your landlord-tenant dispute case proceeds as smoothly as possible and you can maximize your chances of receiving a favorable ruling in Maryland’s district courts.
1. Provide Notice
Maryland requires landlords to provide notice to tenants before carrying out any legal action. The provision of due notice is an example of what the state calls a “preliminary action”.
In the notice, you must include details about the tenant, like their name, and the address of your rented property. Also, include the reason behind the notice and the time by which the tenant has to respond or pay outstanding balances or damages.
2. Keep Copies of Notices and Evidence
When you provide written notice to your tenant, keep a copy. This will prove that you took preliminary action before escalating the matter to the district courts.
If the dispute is due to a lease agreement breach, keep a copy of the agreement as well. You should also gather evidence that proves the violation of the breach.
3. Call a Maryland Real Estate Attorney
The resolution of a landlord-tenant dispute is a court case in Maryland. For this reason, you’ll need a Maryland real estate attorney to represent and counsel you throughout your dispute case’s proceedings. This is the most effective way to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
4. File for Dispute Resolution
If the tenant hasn’t responded within your specified timeframe, you can file a landlord-tenant dispute resolution. Doing this requires that you fill a form with accurate information about the tenant.
Include your tenant’s name, the property’s address, and all other information requested by the form. You must also put whether or not the tenant is in the military. Information on active service members is available here.
After you’ve filed for dispute resolution, the court will serve a summons.
5. Choose How the Summons is to Be Delivered
There are two options. You may opt for posting. This option allows the sheriff to post the dispute form on the door or window of the rented property. You may also choose personal service, but because this option requires in-person delivery to the tenant, there will be an additional fee.
6. Plan Your Post-Judgement Actions with Your Maryland Real Estate Attorney
Post-judgement from the court can result in the eviction of a tenant. You can also recover money for outstanding rent or damages.
Whatever the decisions are, you must form your plan for financial recovery with your real estate attorney. Your Maryland real estate attorney can help you determine how best to retrieve the money owed to you from the tenant.
Get Experienced Legal Counsel and Representation for Your Landlord-Tenant Dispute in Maryland
At every step of the process, a Maryland real estate attorney is your ally, advocate, and guide. If you need legal counsel and representation for your landlord-tenant dispute in Maryland, call us now for professional legal support and a sympathetic ear.