Unlawful Detainer in Maryland - Forcible Entry and Detainer Laws

(Annotated Code of Maryland, Real Prop. Art., Sec. 8-211)

Unlawful detainer laws in Maryland are often invoked when a squatter has occupied a property, and the landlord seeks to remove them.

A landlord may file a Wrongful Detainer Complaint seeking the eviction of a person who never had a tenancy nor a legal right to possess the ladnlord's property.  There is no notice requirement prior to filing suit in these cases if at trial the court finds the defendant has no leasehold interest in the property, the court will enter a judgment of possession of the property in favor of the landlord.  A Warrant may be filed immediatley after trial and the eviction may be scheduled in the normal course.  Typically these actions are brought when a person other than the tenant is residing at a property after the tenant has vacated the premises.  Detainer actions are not the proper method to evict a tenant who was once lawfully in possession of a property, but is now holding over or claiming a breach of lease, as those actions require notice to vacate.

Monetary Judgment

The judge may also award a monetary judgment for damages, court costs and attorney fees in favor of the landlord or other person claiming possession due to the wrongful possession if the damages were claimed in the complaint and the court finds that the person in wrongful possession was personally served with the summons or otherwise submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.

To learn more about unlawful detainer laws in Maryland, or for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Maryland landlord-tenant attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Maher, P.C. today.

In addition to forcible entry and detainer cases, we can also handle a number of related issues, including: failure to pay rent, tenant holding over, commercial tenancies, evictions, and more.