Baltimore’s rent court accused of bias towards landlords

In many cases, Baltimore's infamous Rent Court favors the landlords, and it has an eviction rate that’s higher than any other major city except for Detroit, reported the Baltimore Sun this week.
News Story (Maryland)

Mike Wheatley
Realty Biz News
December 10, 2015

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Rent Court

Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Justice Center (PJC)


Baltimore’s eviction rate was one of the main findings of a study carried out by the Public Justice Center together with the Right for Housing Alliance. That study interviewed more than 300 renters who were facing the threat of being evicted from their homes, and found that 78 percent had reported one or more health and safety threats in their home at the time their case went to court.

According to the study, almost 60 percent complained of rodent or insect problems, while another 41 percent spoke of concerns about lead paint. Meanwhile, 37 percent of renters who faced being evicted said their home had plumbing leaks. But unfortunately for them, although these are all legitimate reasons to withhold the rental payment, most renters are unable to obtain legal representation and do not realize they have a legal defense.

“Baltimore needs to answer its rent eviction crisis, and change to the Rent Court system should be a major component of that answer,” the authors wrote in their report.