Baltimore Eviction Rate among Highest in Country: A Study of Rent Court

The injustice and social cost of eviction is slowly making its way to the attention of mass media as activist groups around the country focus attention on archaic legal systems through which property owners control rental housing.

Blog Post (Maryland)

Spencer Wells
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)
December 10, 2015

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Rent Court, Research/Data

Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Justice Center (PJC)


Rent court was the subject of a previous NPQ article, “The Courtroom That’s ‘Every Renter’s Nightmare.’” In the latest story about Baltimore’s Rent Court, the Baltimore Sunpicks up on a report by the Public Justice Center (PJC), “Justice Diverted.”

The PJC report appears to be the kickoff for a social action campaign, 7000 Families. It presents a pretty comprehensive list of recommendations to the court:

  • Require a pre-filing notice of eviction, requiring that landlords document their rent claims,
  • Level the playing field by increasing tenants’ access to legal information, assistance at court, and legal representation,
  • Expand licensing and property inspection requirements so that all rental housing meets health and safety standards, and
  • Fund eviction prevention programs to meet the scale of the eviction crisis.