Legal Aid: Despite errors in complaints, landlords win rent cases

Landlords in the state have won cases in rent court despite failing to properly document claims, serve legal notice on tenants or prove that they are licensed to rent properties, according to a study released Tuesday by Maryland Legal Aid.
News Story (Maryland)

Jean Marbella
Baltimore Sun
September 20, 2016

Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Maryland Legal Aid


The organization, which provides free legal services to the poor, documented such errors in more than 17 percent of cases in which landlords won default judgments against tenants for failure to pay rent. Because those landlords didn’t follow the law, the group said, they shouldn’t have won in court.

Once landlords receive a failure-to-pay judgment, they can proceed to file an order of eviction.

Legal Aid called for better verification of landlord complaint forms, arguing that eviction can start a cascade of devastating consequences — from adults losing jobs because they can no longer get to them, to children missing class time or having to switch schools, to families suffering physical and mental health problems from being displaced.

“Housing plays such an integral role in a person’s life that the loss of that housing, for any reason, can have an enormous negative ripple effect not only on the person involved, but also on his/her family and the community at large,” the report said.