If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Maryland (MD) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Maryland state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In Maryland, eviction lawsuits are governed by § 8-401 through 8-402.1 of the Laws of the State of Maryland.
Unlike most states, Maryland doesn’t require a landlord to notify a tenant before filing for eviction when the tenant fails to pay rent on time (unless otherwise specified in the lease agreement). If a tenant violates the lease for a reason other than non-payment of rent, then you must give notice before filing an eviction.
For reference, a Maryland Eviction Notice is also known as:
- Maryland Failure to Pay Rent Notice
- Maryland Notice to Quit
- Maryland Notice to Vacate
- Maryland Lease Termination
Maryland Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Maryland state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Maryland, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In Maryland, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem.
Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In Maryland, landlords are not required to give tenants a minimum time period to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: § 8-401 through 8-402.1 of the Laws of the State of Maryland
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: No grace period for late rent, unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement. § 8-401
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: No notice required § 8-401
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 30 days § 8-402.1(a)(1)(i)2.A
- Illegal Activity: 14 days § 8-402.1(a)(1)(i)2.B
- Substantial Damage to Property: 14 days § 8-402.1(a)(1)(i)2.B
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days § 8-402
What is the Eviction Process in Maryland?
An eviction action (otherwise known as a Wrongful Detainer Action) in Maryland should be guided by § 8-401 through 8-402.1 of the Laws of the State of Maryland. You can begin an eviction action by yourself, or through an attorney.
Prior to starting the eviction process, make sure you understand all related laws and requirements. Otherwise, please consult a lawyer to ensure all eviction actions you take comply with the laws of Maryland.
Step 1: Send eviction notice
If the tenant violates the terms of the lease or you want to end a month-to-month tenancy, you or your attorney must first provide the appropriate type of eviction notice. The type of Maryland eviction notice you select depends on the violation and the provisions in the lease. It should be sent by first-class certified mail so there’s a record of the tenant receiving it.
If you seek to have the tenant evicted from the property for non-payment of rent, you don’t need to provide notice, and may proceed directly to Step 2.
Step 2: File the initial court documents for eviction action
If your tenant fails to pay rent on time, or if the tenant doesn’t comply with the eviction notice, you may file an eviction action with the Judicial Court in the county where the property is located. To file an eviction action in the State of Maryland, you must go to the respective District Court where the property is located and obtain the required court forms. The required court forms are not available online.
The complaint must include the details of the tenancy and the reasons for the eviction, including, if relevant, how much rent is due. Along with the initial court forms, you must also pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the type of eviction and where the property is located.
Note: If you are located in the city of Baltimore, the city has specific instructions to follow.
Step 3: Serve the tenant
The tenant must be given a copy of the documents the landlord filed in court. The landlord has to have the local county sheriff deliver the Complaint and District Court Summons to the tenant, either in person or through first-class certified mail.
The tenant must appear in court on the specified date to respond to the eviction action. If the eviction is based on non-payment of rent, the tenant can stop the eviction by paying rent in full, along with any late fees and court costs, by the day of the trial. If the tenant pays rent in full before the judge makes a final judgement, the eviction stops.
Step 4: Court judgement
If the tenant doesn’t appear in court or the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant is allowed four (4) days to leave the property.
Step 5: Petition for a warrant
If the tenant fails to vacate the property within four (4) days, the landlord must file a Petition for Warrant of Restitution, which can only be obtained from the District Court. The landlord provides the signed warrant to the sheriff, who may then evict the tenant.
Related Maryland Court Forms
Maryland requires physical copies of court forms to be obtained in person, however there are a couple samples available on the Maryland Court website for reference:
- Sample Complaint, Failure to Pay Rent Form (DC-CV-082): The complaint must be completed by the landlord or their lawyer, and include the reason/s for eviction. It must be filed at the courthouse of the county where the property is located. Note: Form DC-CV-082 Failure to Pay Rent has been revised, and the updated 8-2020 version will be required for use beginning 10/01/2020.
- Petition for Warrant of Restitution (DC-CV-081): Once approved by the court, this form lets a landlord have the sheriff remove their tenant if they refuse to vacate the property. The eviction must take place within 60 days after the court orders the Warrant of Restitution, and you must file the request for such a Warrant within 60 days of the court’s original judgment. The eviction cannot take place on a Sunday or holiday.
Eviction Information for Maryland Landlords and Tenants
The Maryland court system provides online legal help and has a section devoted to housing issues. Maryland Legal Aid also offers several brochures on housing issues that can be useful to review for landlords and tenants alike.
It’s illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without a court judgement. You cannot force a tenant out of the rental unit by using threats or coercion, changing the locks, shutting off the utilities, etc. This is considered “self-help” and your tenant could sue you for damages if you attempt it. It’s important to review the applicable laws governing eviction, and speak with a lawyer before proceeding.
If you receive an eviction notice or a court summons, read it carefully to understand the reason for it. The Maryland court system provides very detailed guidance on various eviction scenarios, which is helpful for tenants to review.
Contact a lawyer if you believe the eviction notice is illegal or if there’s another problem, such as:
- a dangerous defect of the property that you previously notified the landlord about which they failed to fix.
- the eviction is retaliatory (the landlord locked you out or shut off the utilities before completing the eviction).
If the cost of hiring a lawyer is too expensive, law school clinics and legal aid groups, such as Maryland Legal Aid, are available to help at affordable or no-cost rates. Additional information for tenants can be found at U.S. Hud Resources for Maryland.