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Changes to Maryland Landlord/Tenant Law Announced

Maryland has announced significant changes to the state’s Landlord/Tenant law, and all landlords need to become familiar with these modifications.  As of October 1, 2021, changes will be implemented that impact the Landlord Tenant eviction process and termination of leases for residential properties. Landlords who wish to repossess their residential rentals under a Failure to Pay Rent (FTPR) filing will be required to provide to the tenant a ten-day notice saying the tenant has a right to pay the amount owed and/or seek the advice of legal counsel, which will now be provided to certain individuals. The notice must be sent first class, certified mailing and affixed to the door; or if approved by tenant, sent electronic via email, text or tenant portal. The new amendment to Maryland Real Property Code, Section 8-401 allows tenants who make 50% less than the median household income for the State of Maryland [1] to be eligible to receive counsel.  It is…

How to Resolve a Lease Dispute

Maryland Landlord AttorneyWhether you are a landlord or a tenant, a lease dispute can be stressful, disruptive and a source of unnecessary expense and hassle. Fortunately, for those faced with determining how to resolve a lease dispute, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Maryland landlord-tenant law attorney Rebekah Lusk, who leads the Landlord/Tenant practice at Lusk Law, LLC, understands what you are going through and is available to help with issues involving breach of a lease. Lusk Law also manages a wide variety of other landlord/tenant cases including failure to pay rent, wrongful detainer, tenant holding over, and violations of the Consumer Protection Act. Rebekah is also a landlord, so she knows from firsthand experience how to find solutions for both commercial and residential legal disputes. Call Lusk Law, LLC today at (443) 535-9715 to schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help you resolve your dispute.…

Maryland COVID Eviction Rules

The COVID-19 pandemic has created problems and confusion for both landlords trying to collect rent and for tenants who are struggling to pay it. The fact that Maryland COVID eviction rules keep changing adds to the confusion. Tenants who become ill or lose their jobs due to the virus may be unable to make rent payments, but landlords who depend on this money to pay their own bills need to be paid. While no landlord wishes to evict a tenant who cannot pay rent due to the epidemic, as landlords face their own COVID-related problems and lost income, they may find themselves with no choice but to replace delinquent tenants with tenants who can pay their rent. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant faced with eviction issues, Maryland landlord-tenant law attorney Rebekah Lusk, who leads the Landlord/Tenant practice at Lusk Law, LLC, understands what you are going through and…

The Top 5 Legal Mistakes Maryland Landlords Make

Rental PropertyWhile it is nice to earn income by renting property, it won’t be worth it if you make legal mistakes and end up being sued in a landlord-tenant dispute. If you are considering becoming a landlord in Maryland, it makes sense to consult a skilled landlord/tenant lawyer to review your documents and practices to make sure they are all legal and your interests are protected. At Lusk Law, LLC, we can help prevent landlord legal claims from happening and keep you from making costly mistakes. The Top 5 Legal Mistakes Maryland Landlords Make The Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, offers tips for avoiding landlord/tenant disputes.  By reviewing these, you can prevent costly legal battles.  Here are some of the most common legal mistakes landlords make: 1. Asking Discriminating Questions of Potential Renters Under the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 as amended,…

What Are Replevin/Detinue Actions?

If another person has taken — or borrowed and refused to return — property belonging to you, you may be wondering whether you have legal recourse to recover the item or items. Yes, you do, in the form of replevin and detinue actions. These two types of cases are very similar, but there are a few key differences. The lawyers at Lusk Law, LLC are happy to sit down with you and discuss the specifics of each type of action and which is most appropriate for your situation. A Replevin Action Is Quicker, but Temporary If you want the fastest possible return of your property, a replevin action may be the best first step. When you file for replevin, you must demonstrate in a Show Cause hearing that you are entitled to gain possession of the property right away. Just because you own the item or have title to it…

Understanding a Tenant’s Right of First Refusal

Tenant's right to first refusalOur Maryland lawyer can help you with the complex issues involving the first right of refusal in a rental agreement in Baltimore City and the City of Takoma Park in Montgomery County. The concept behind the right of first refusal is fairly straightforward: Contractually, it’s a right granted to Entity A to enter into a business transaction with Entity B before anybody else is able to. If Entity A decides not to take part in the transaction, Entity B is then free to negotiate with other potential buyers. Often, this concept appears in real estate transactions, where the seller grants a certain party the right to purchase a property before anybody else can. Many leases executed between tenants and landlords contain a right of first refusal clause. In Baltimore City and the City of Takoma Park, however, a tenant’s right of first refusal is on the legal books, established in Subtitle…

A New Year, a New Business Plan?

Maryland Busniess Planning AttorneyNew Year's is a time for personal reflection, for recommitting to old goals and making resolutions. But what about your business? Like you, it probably could use some fine-tuning. The first of the year is the perfect time to make a new business plan, one that sets new objectives and determines the goals most needed to move the company forward. Scheduling some time at the beginning of this year to create a new business plan will give you renewed faith in your enterprise and the motivation to implement some much-needed changes. Plan for the New Five (or Ten...or 15) Years The way people do business is changing all the time. That's why making a five-year plan is so important. The plan lets you ... take stock of where the business is right now develop a clear break-down of your goals and the steps needed to attain each goal consider how…

When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant?

When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant?Although most landlords would agree that it’s far better to have a long-lasting, profitable relationship with a steady tenant, there may come a time when evicting a tenant is the most tenable option for your property, security, and profitability. But evicting a tenant is not as simple as changing the locks and putting furniture on the curb. As with most dealings between landlords and tenants, there are very specific laws governing evictions. Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent In Maryland, in order for a landlord to evict a tenant before the tenancy has expired (meaning before the lease or rental agreement is up), he must have a legal cause to do so. The most common legal reason is failure to pay rent—and when that is the case, the landlord does not have to give the tenant notice before beginning the eviction process. The landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the…

Will You Be a Pet-Friendly Landlord?

Will You Be a Pet-Friendly Landlord?For many Americans, pets are considered a part of the family, and they would not consider living in any home without their fur-bearing companions. Chances are good that many of your potential tenants will also be pet lovers. More than half of all Americans own pets, and nearly all of the pet owners surveyed in a recent Apartments.com study said that pet policies played a major role in their decision of where to live. However, while the decision to share a home with an animal may be easy for a tenant, the landlord faces a harder decision when determining whether or not to allow pets in a rental property. The landlord must carefully weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision that he’s comfortable within his particular situation. Pros of Allowing Pets: You’ll have more potential tenants. With so many pet owners looking for housing, obviously the inability…

What Does Baltimore’s New Inspection Law Mean for Smaller Landlords?

What Does Baltimore’s New Inspection Law Mean for Smaller Landlords?A new law in Baltimore is requiring landlords of smaller rental properties to get their apartments inspected. The uncertainty of these inspections is concerning to some smaller landlords, although many still support it. The law is aimed at improving housing conditions in Baltimore’s lower-income areas, according to the Baltimore Sun. Owners of rental properties with one or two bedrooms have until Jan. 1, 2019, to pass a 20-point inspection before they can obtain a license to rent their properties. This is a new requirement for Baltimore’s smaller landlords—previously, only the owners of multifamily properties with three or more units were required to be registered, inspected, and licensed. However, the Sun reports that most of the city’s violations for problems such as rodents, mold, and lack of heat come from these one- and two-unit properties that make up half of Baltimore’s rental market. The inspection must be performed by a licensed third-party…