Legal Courses of Action When a Tenant is Holding Over
(Annotated Code of Maryland, Real Property Article, Section 8-402)
A holdover tenant refers to a tenant who remains in possession of a leased premises after the expiration of the lease term and when the landlord wishes to repossess the leased premises. In this scenario, the landlord may bring Tenant Holding Over action. The procedure for this is the same as in a Breach of Lease action.The only difference is that no lease violation need be proven in court to obtain the eviction order.
The only condition precedent to the granting of the eviction order is that the landlord must have sent the tenant a full month's calendar notice to vacate the premises. Please note that a "calendar" month means that the notice is effective at the end of the month subsequent to when it was sent. For example, a notice, whether sent on June 15th, 20th or 30th, would serve to terminate a lease on July 31st. Also please note that the notice period in Baltimore City is sixty (60) days.
If no notice is given by either party at the end of the lease term, the lease term will become a month-to-month with a full calendar month's notice to vacate required.
Defenses for a Holdover Tenant
As long as the statutory notice is sent, there are very limited defenses to Tenant Holding Over cases. However, the court may not enter a judgment if the cases were filed within six (6) months of a written complaint by the tenant because the landlord's eviction action is presumed to be in retaliation to the tenant's complaint. One example of a complaint by a tenant is the filing of a Petition for Rent Escrow.
To learn more about courses of action available to landlords for a holdover tenant, or for a free, no-obligation consultation with our Baltimore landlord-tenant attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Maher, P.C. today.