Baltimore May Join Cities Supporting Low-Income Tenants in Eviction Cases

The fund, which would need to be approved by voters as well as city council, is intended to give tenants a better chance of prevailing in eviction proceedings.

News Story (Maryland, NATIONAL)

Jared Brey
July 21, 2017

Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Maryland Legal Aid


Gregory Countess, the director of advocacy for housing and community economic development at Maryland Legal Aid, says many tenants facing eviction simply don’t know what their options are. Under Maryland law, for example, Countess says, the landlord has the burden to prove that there is a landlord-tenant relationship in the first place and that a certain amount of rent is due. Tenants without lawyers aren’t often prepared to force landlords to provide evidence of those things.

“What a lawyer is able to do that many laypeople are not able to do is to know what law is applicable,” says Countess. “They can discern what the facts are. They know how to shape and present evidence to the court, and object to what they think is any attempt to put evidence that’s not proper, or information that’s not proper, before the court.”