Can a landlord evict you because of a verbal dispute in the management office?
11/30/2007 - Landlord Tenant - State: MD #13135
Can a landlord evict you because of a verbal dispute in the management office?
The following are Maryland statutes:
§ 8-208.1 REAL PROP. Retaliatory evictions prohibited; conditions for relief.
(a) Prohibited evictions. — No landlord shall evict a tenant of any residential property or arbitrarily increase the rent or decrease the services to which the tenant has been entitled for any of the following reasons:
(1) Solely because the tenant or the tenant's agent has filed a good faith written complaint, or complaints, with the landlord or with any public agency or agencies against the landlord;
(2) Solely because the tenant or the tenant's agent has filed a lawsuit, or lawsuits, against the landlord; or
(3) Solely because the tenant is a member or organizer of any tenants' organization.
(b) "Retaliatory evictions" defined. — Evictions described in subsection (a) of this section shall be called "retaliatory evictions".
(c) Attorney's fees and costs. — (1) If in any eviction proceeding the judgment be in favor of the tenant for any of the aforementioned defenses, the court may enter judgment for reasonable attorney fees and court costs against the landlord.
(2) If in any eviction proceeding the court finds that a tenant's assertion of a retaliatory eviction defense was in bad faith or without substantial justification, the court may enter judgment for reasonable attorney fees and court costs against the tenant.
(d) Conditions for relief. — The relief provided under this section is conditioned upon:
(1) In the case of tenancies measured by a period of one month or more, the court having not entered against the tenant more than 3 judgments of possession for rent due and unpaid in the 12-month period immediately prior to the initiation of the action by the tenant or by the landlord.
(2) In the case of tenancies requiring the weekly payment of rent, the court having not entered against the tenant more than 5 judgments of possession for rent due and unpaid in the 12-month period immediately prior to the initiation of the action by the tenant or by the landlord, or, if the tenant has lived on the premises 6 months or less, the court having not entered against the tenant 3 judgments of possession for rent due and unpaid.
(e) Evictions not deemed "retaliatory evictions's". — No eviction shall be deemed to be a "retaliatory eviction" for purposes of this section upon the expiration of a period of 6 months following the determination of the merits of the initial case by a court (or administrative agency) of competent jurisdiction.
(f) Rights not affected. — Nothing in this section may be interpreted to alter the landlord's or the tenant's rights to terminate or not renew a tenancy governed by a written lease for a stated term of greater than 1 month at the expiration of the term or at any other time as the parties may specifically agree.
(g) Effect of ordinance comparable in subject matter — In the event any county or Baltimore City shall have enacted an ordinance comparable in subject matter to this section, that ordinance shall supersede the provisions of this section.
§ 8-208 REAL PROP. Written lease required; contents; prohibited provisions; rights afforded by local law or ordinance; damages; severability.
(a) Written leases — In general. — (1) On or after October 1, 1999, any landlord who offers 5 or more dwelling units for rent in the State may not rent a residential dwelling unit without using a written lease.
(2) If a landlord fails to comply with paragraph (1) of this subsection, the term of the tenancy is presumed to be 1 year from the date of the tenant's first occupancy unless the tenant elects to end the tenancy at an earlier date by giving 1 month's written notice.
(b) Same — Copy of proposed form to prospective applicants. — A landlord who rents using a written lease shall provide, upon written request from any prospective applicant for a lease, a copy of the proposed form of lease in writing, complete in every material detail, except for the date, the name and address of the tenant, the designation of the premises, and the rental rate without requiring execution of the lease or any prior deposit.
(c) Same — Contents. — A lease shall include:
(1) A statement that the premises will be made available in a condition permitting habitation, with reasonable safety, if that is the agreement, or if that is not the agreement, a statement of the agreement concerning the condition of the premises; and
(2) The landlord's and the tenant's specific obligations as to heat, gas, electricity, water, and repair of the premises.
(d) Same — Prohibited provisions. — A landlord may not use a lease or form of lease containing any provision that:
(1) Has the tenant authorize any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the lease;
(2) Has the tenant agree to waive or to forego any right or remedy provided by applicable law;
(3)(i) Provides for a penalty for the late payment of rent in excess of 5% of the amount of rent due for the rental period for which the payment was delinquent; or
(ii) In the case of leases under which the rent is paid in weekly rental installments, provides for a late penalty of more than $3 per week or a total of no more than $12 per month;
(4) Has the tenant waive the right to a jury trial;
(5) Has the tenant agree to a period required for landlord's notice to quit which is less than that provided by applicable law; provided, however, that neither party is prohibited from agreeing to a longer notice period than that required by applicable law;
(6) Authorizes the landlord to take possession of the leased premises, or the tenant's personal property unless the lease has been terminated by action of the parties or by operation of law, and the personal property has been abandoned by the tenant without the benefit of formal legal process;
(7) Is against public policy and void pursuant to § 8-105 of this title; or
(8) Permits a landlord to commence an eviction proceeding or issue a notice to quit solely as retaliation against any tenant for planning, organizing, or joining a tenant organization with the purpose of negotiating collectively with the landlord.
(e) Same — Automatic renewal provisions. — (1) Except for a lease containing an automatic renewal period of 1 month or less, a lease that contains a provision calling for an automatic renewal of the lease term unless prior notice is given by the party or parties seeking to terminate the lease, shall have the provision distinctly set apart from any other provision of the lease and provide a space for the written acknowledgment of the tenant's agreement to the automatic renewal provision.
(2) An automatic renewal provision that is not specifically accompanied by either the tenant's initials, signature, or witnessed mark is unenforceable by the landlord.
(f) Supplementary rights afforded by local law or ordinance. — No provision of this section shall be deemed to be a bar to the applicability of supplementary rights afforded by any public local law enacted by the General Assembly or any ordinance or local law enacted by any municipality or political subdivision of this State; provided, however, that no such law can diminish or limit any right or remedy granted under the provisions of this section.
(g) Prohibited provisions not enforceable; damages. — (1) Any lease provision which is prohibited by terms of this section shall be unenforceable by the landlord.
(2) If the landlord includes in any lease a provision prohibited by this section or made unenforceable by § 8-105 or § 8-203 of this title, at any time subsequent to July 1, 1975, and tenders a lease containing such a provision or attempts to enforce or makes known to the tenant an intent to enforce any such provision, the tenant may recover any actual damages incurred as a reason thereof, including reasonable attorney's fees.
(h) Severability. — If any word, phrase, clause, sentence, or any part or parts of this section shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction such unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity of the remaining parts of this section.
§ 8-204 REAL PROP. Covenant of quiet enjoyment required of landlord.
(a) Applicability of section. — This section is applicable only to single or multi-family dwelling units.
(b) Covenant of quiet enjoyment required. — A landlord shall assure the tenant that the tenant, peaceably and quietly, may enter on the leased premises at the beginning of the term of any lease.
(c) Abatement of rent for failure to deliver. — If the landlord fails to provide the tenant with possession of the dwelling unit at the beginning of the term of any lease, the rent payable under the lease shall abate until possession is delivered. The tenant, on written notice to the landlord before possession is delivered, may terminate, cancel, and rescind the lease.
(d) Liability of landlord. — On termination of the lease under this section, the landlord is liable to the tenant for all money or property given as prepaid rent, deposit, or security.
(e) Consequential damages. — If the landlord fails to provide the tenant with possession of the dwelling unit at the beginning of the term of any lease, whether or not the lease is terminated under this section, the landlord is liable to the tenant for consequential damages actually suffered by the tenant subsequent to the tenant's giving notice to the landlord of the tenant's inability to enter on the leased premises.
(f) Eviction of tenant holding over — The landlord may bring an action of eviction and damages against any tenant holding over after the end of the tenant's term even though the landlord has entered into a lease with another tenant, and the landlord may join the new tenant as a party to the action.
11/30/2007 - Category: Landlord Tenant - State: MD #13135
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