Baltimore Tenant moved out 1 week before scheduled eviction.

22 Replies

Hey BP.

I have an eviction scheduled for next week, and I've discovered my property vacant. Neighbors said they moved out. There are a few items left behind, and a lot of trash. They are clearly not living there, but I'm unsure if I can enter the property cconsidering it abandoned to get ready for the next tenant. It would be beneficial to have the extra week if this is OK. 

Thanks

Not sure of the laws in the property state, but in Massachusetts where I am at, its a big no-no.  If you think the tenants are spiteful, be careful as they could should up and claim you stole everything or locked them out. 

If you are still thinking about it, try to email or text them and ask if they are done and out.....and save the response !

I probably wouldn't.  I'm not sure of the local laws in Baltimore but other advice on the topic that I've seen on BP is to follow through with the eviction continuing the process. 

@Rich N.

So in Mass you cannot deem the property abandon and take possession based on such factors as they utilities off, no items of value and statement from neighbors that they have moved ?

Originally posted by @Greg H.:

@Rich Ng

So in Mass you cannot deem the property abandon and take possession based on such factors as they utilities off, no items of value and statement from neighbors that they have moved ?

Correct because first and foremost, Mass is a too friendly tenant state.  I've seen tenant utilities shut off for non-payment and back on within the week (after payment). I hate it but could never base the conclusion they moved out. 

As for the no value items, how would you know unless you illegally entered the apartment?  Please remember this is based on the friendly state and a bad tenant.   

The good tenants always have no issues with me entering their apartment if they are not there (after I've notified them of a repair). 

Follow thru with the eviction , then you have the sheriff as a witness , the former tenants have no right of entry after that .  I wouldnt enter the property until then .

Originally posted by @Rich N. :
Originally posted by @Greg H.:

@Rich Ng

So in Mass you cannot deem the property abandon and take possession based on such factors as they utilities off, no items of value and statement from neighbors that they have moved ?

Correct because first and foremost, Mass is a too friendly tenant state.  I've seen tenant utilities shut off for non-payment and back on within the week (after payment). I hate it but could never base the conclusion they moved out. 

As for the no value items, how would you know unless you illegally entered the apartment?  Please remember this is based on the friendly state and a bad tenant.   

The good tenants always have no issues with me entering their apartment if they are not there (after I've notified them of a repair). 

In Texas, we can deem the property abandon as well as enter the property at any time deemed reasonable.  Abandonment is loosely defined and can be as simple as power off and material belongings removed

Each state handles eviction a little differently. Sounds like you should wait a week and follow the process. Then "...The landlord or the landlord's employees can then remove all property from the unit and put it on the public right-of-way while the sheriff supervises. Once the property is moved from the unit, it is the tenant's responsibility. "

https://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/edge81.htm

 

I'd probably enter just to clean the place up and do any maintenance.  Then wait for the week to run out before putting it up for rent.

I had the same thing happen to my property in Albuquerque, NM and it was no problem to declare the place abandoned and took it over.  Too bad Md is the way it is.

modify future lease to allow entry as needed with 24 notification. Also include a paragraph in the lease to let tenants know that any repairman will be acompanied by management whenever tenant is not home and can not be contacted,  for security reasons. 

Late to this thread, but just wanted to add that you did have the right to at least just enter the property to get a look around by giving a 24 hour notice of entry/inspection. You post it on the door, send it via mail, email...whatever. The law does not specify that I've ever seen how you must give notice.

Hope everything on this ended smoothly.

Next time you have specific Maryland landlord law questions, go to this link during regular business hours to chat online with a paralegal for free:

http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/districtct...

@Nicole W. is right. You can give the 24 hour notice then enter the property.  I would not change the locks....but I would go ahead and start cleaning up and getting your repairs done so you are able to rent on the day of the eviction. 

I personally wouldn't go ahead and start cleaning and repairing before the eviction. I'm just saying he does have the right to enter by giving 24hr notice of entry/inspection...I would use this simply to be able to better assess the property so you can start estimating any repairs/cleanup. But I wouldn't actually start until eviction happened just to be safe.

@Jarred Sleeth I think @Russell Brazil and @Nicole W. pretty much covered it. I actually had the same situation happen to me and my attorney said it was ok to enter the property and get it rent ready again. What I did end up doing was texting the guys and asking them if the vacated the property. Surprisingly they admitted they did and gave me some drawn out excuse but at least I have something in writing just in case.

oh also forgot... If you use the deposit to pay for the vacancy and repairs then make sure you send them an invoice for the cost within 45 days. (needless to say, I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice but just a comment from my experience)

Thanks for the replies everyone, and thanks @Nicole W. for that link. Great resource! 

I did enter the property to survey any damages and start figuring out what needed to be done to rerent the unit. I waited until the eviction day to change the locks and start doing the work.  Man oh man, was it a lot of work.  That might need a whole new thread!