Baltimore court expands tenant aid in housing cases

The navigator program is among several initiatives launched last year by the Maryland Judiciary to address that inequity in the busy district court downtown, where nearly 151,000 landlord-tenant cases are processed each year in Baltimore.

News Story (Maryland)

Doug Donovan
Baltimore Sun
January 4, 2018

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Justice Center (PJC), Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland


A year-long investigation by The Baltimore Sun reported in April that city judges who oversee tenant complaints of substandard living conditions in “rent escrow” actions routinely ruled in favor of landlords — even when city inspectors had confirmed code violations that should have entitled renters to judgments of lowered or waived rents. On the eviction side of district court — which issued nearly 70,000 eviction notices in fiscal year 2016, leading to nearly 7,500 evictions — hearings zip through landlord allegations of unpaid rent.

To devise way to improve the process, judges, tenant advocates and landlord groups have met regularly over the years, finally settling on three measures that have assisted about 2,500 people with housing cases since being rolled out in May.