A landlord may file a complaint to evict a tenant after giving the tenant written notice to vacate the premises. The landlord must wait the minimum amount of time required by law or the time required by the lease, whichever is greater.
The Notice Requirement
A landlord must be able to prove to the court that he ore she has given the tenant written notice to vacate. A great way for a landlord to prove that he has complied with this provision is to send the notice via certified mail return receipt requested. The certified mail paper and return receipt can be presented to the court as proof of mailing.
If a tenant avoids signing for certified mail then affixing the notice to the tenants door and taking a picture of it can be used to fulfill this requirement.
The Minimum Wait Time Before Filing Suit
The time period a landlord must wait before filing suit and after giving written notice to vacate varies depending on the type of tenancy and the jurisdiction the unit is located. Under Maryland Law the time period is generally 30 days before the end of the term. If there is no fixed term, then 30 days after the notice is sent. In Baltimore City, the time period is extended to 60 days.
Filing For Failure to Pay Rent is Better Than Filing For Notice to Vacate
The only remedy for a notice to vacate action is eviction of a tenant. Landlords who use notice to vacate actions cannot recover monetary damages such as rent money. This cause of actions is for unlicensed landlords or landlords that rent units without written lease agreements. Licensed landlords can obtain monetary awards and repossession of the unit by filing for failure to pay rent.
The Pendergraft Firm LLC Notice to Vacate Practice
Brian Pendergraft is a Maryland landlord-tenant attorney that has successfully represented both landlords and tenants in the District Court of Maryland. Call us at (301) 205-9013 or E-mail [email protected] to schedule a free phone consultation!
Unable To Afford an Attorney or Would Rather Do It Yourself?
Check out my Maryland Landlord Self-Help Eviction Legal Kit or my Maryland Tenant Rights Legal Kit. The kits contain my strategies and sample pleadings for representing landlords and tenants in Maryland.