Tenant/LandlordHow Tenants Can
Do I Need a Lawyer?
You are not required to have a lawyer; many
people who bring cases before the District
Court represent themselves. However, an
attorney may be helpful in advising you about
your case and representing you; many offer
lowcost consultations that will help you defend
yourself. In most cases, corporations and other
business entities must be represented by an
What Happens in Court?
If one party doesn’t appear, the court may
postpone the trial, issue a judgment, or
dismiss the case. If both the landlord and
tenant appear, the court may:
Listen to both parties present their version of
the dispute. If the court rules in favor of the
landlord, the court may issue an Order of
Possession. In certain limited circumstances,
the court may enter a monetary judgment in
the amount of the rent due and the costs of the
Postpone the trial to allow either party to
obtain necessary witnesses.
What Should I Bring to Court?
Both parties should bring all court
documents and evidence to support their
respective claims. Evidence may include copies
of the lease, letters, photographs and other
What Are the Costs?
Fees may apply for certain court filings. Ask
the clerk for the cost of filing.
How Do I Request a Postponement?
Requests for a postponement by either the
landlord or tenant must be made in writing
before the trial date. A certified copy of the
request must be mailed to the opposing party.
Can I Be Evicted If the Rent Is Paid?
In most cases the tenant cannot be evicted if
the amount the court decided was due, plus
court costs, is paid prior to the eviction.
Payment to the landlord must be in cash,
certified check or money order.
Exceptions: If a tenant has had three
judgments of possession (four in Baltimore
City) filed against him/her during the twelve
months before the current suit, a landlord may
request that the court deny the tenant’s right
to redeem the property. If the judge grants the
request, the te