Eviction in Baltimore city, am I going to be fined?

8 Replies

I have a house in west Baltimore that I lived in for about 9 months while I rehabbed it. I moved elsewhere and the house sat vacant for a while until my coworker told me his buddy was looking for a place to stay.  Several months later i got in touch with the guy and got him to sign a month to month lease and get a copy of his driver license... I got a month and a half of rent out of him in cash and then the power was turned off because he never transferred it to his name and I never had a BGE account.  I told him that I was terminating the month to month when this happened...... 4 month later he is still there.  Just called him today, he caught an attitude with me, saying I 'f-ed up and need to go downtown to get him evicted'.  The house is no a registered rental.  Im meeting with an attorney on Monday.... Anyone have any advice?

First thing I would do is go talk to your co-worker and let him know whats going on. Can he do anything to help? This is his buddy after all.  If you're already tried that and no luck, then find out what the rules are in your city for evicting someone. Good that you're meeting with an attorney but do some research on your own before you do. 

I'm not sure it matters if its a registered rental or not. From now on, document every interaction you have with this person. Send any mail to them "registered" and follow what your attorney suggests.

And lastly you could always offer "cash for keys". Theres lots of BP members who have done this. Offer x amount of cash to get them out. Might be easier than going through this whole process, including attorney fees.  Good luck.

@Alex Khojainov

You have to register any non owner occupied property with the city. Yes you can be fined for not doing that. It is $30 to register (unless it has a vacant house notice from the city, then it is $130) and you do it at 417 East Fayette st 1st floor in the permit dept. However that will have nothing to do with the eviction. The judge will not know.

However you also need to register the property with the Maryland Dept of Environment for lead paint (Unless built after 1978 or already certified as lead free) and get a lead certificate. In order to file the eviction you DO NEED the registration or lead certificate number. Google MDE

You file for evictions in the basement of 503 E Fayette.

You do not need a lawyer to evict and there are companies that specialize in handling rent court. Myrentcourt and rentnotices are two in Baltimore I believe. 

You can also find out more about landlord tenant stuff from Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. (BNI)

ALL that said, cash for keys is your best bet. 

1. not registered/ no lead cert = failure to pay rent is not possible. lead cert needs to be done immediately, registered with the city, and registered with MDE. then file the failure to pay rent for all months he owes, show up to court, get the judgment, then file the warrant of restitution, schedule with the sheriff, show up and boot him out ( or he pays you)

2. month to month lease means you must give him written notice 60 days in advance of his final day of the lease. your "you told him to leave" holds none to questionable weight in court. if it was a text message or he acknowledges the notification, you might have a chance....but don't count on it. mail the letter, certificate of mailing, yesterday. And keep in mind, its minimum 60 days....if you mailed the letter today, 10/17, he would have until the last day of December to leave....if he then fails to go, file a tenant holding over motion, get the judgment, kick the tenant out.

good luck.

Account Closed I have filed FTP and have received court date. Are there any necessary items I need to bring to court with me? It's my 1st rental. I inherited some tenants that aren't paying. They are on a month to a month. I figured going the eviction route would be faster then asking them to leave and then after 60 days filing for tenant holding over. Please correct me if my logic is flawed here. Can I file warrant of restitution same day I receive judgment? How long do I have to wait to schedule eviction with sheriff?

Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,

E. Harris

P.S. My tools are in the truck waiting for that HVAC service call.......

@Eric H. bring rent ledger, lease, copy of failure to pay. know registration number and lead cert number. make sure they are accurate. 

If you want them gone, terminate the lease and send the 60 day letter. if you go the eviction route they can always pay off the judgment and stay. ("redeem the judgment"). maybe you want that, maybe you don't. 

warrant of restitution can be filed 7 days after judgment.

@Shadonna Logan

youd have to ask my accountant, however,....my instinct would be to say no, uncollected rent isn't income to them though one might argue that the house possession without payment could be considered so. From the landlord side, sending a 1099 is pointless. Any paid money typically is an expense, and can be deducted regardless (cash for keys). any unpaid rent isn't claimed as income, as you never received it, but to call the lack of rent a deduction as well would be quite a stretch. At least as a non-accountant i would believe the previous to be correct

Originally posted by @Shadonna N. :

Account Closed

In the case of cash for keys or rent you cannot collect do you file a 1099-C against the tenant?

 Unfortunately, no.  1099-C's should only be issued by financial institutions (ie, those who lend money as part of their business.)