Illegal Lockout/Illegal Eviction

If you have been locked out by your landlord or evicted by your landlord without a warrant of restitution or without a sheriff, you may be able to sue your landlord.  Maryland has a process for a landlord to quickly evict a tenant through a warrant of restitution with the involvement of a sheriff if a tenant is not paying rent.  But a landlord may not evict a tenant living at the property without going through court.  Otherwise, if a Maryland landlord changes locks, throws out a tenant’s belongings, or threatens you that the landlord will do that if you do not move out, without following the legal process, you should call Civil Justice, free of charge, at (410) 706-0174.

Maryland rent court allows a landlord to obtain a warrant of restitution to evict the tenant if the tenant does not pay the amount specified in the rent court case.  If the tenant does pay and the landlord goes through with the eviction, or evicts a tenant without a warrant of restitution, this is called “self-help” and is illegal under Md. Code, Real Property § 8-216.  That statute allows a tenant to recover damages from the landlord, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees.  This makes it easier to find an attorney to handle your case without upfront cost to you. If you are interested in finding an attorney, Civil Justice can help. Call us at 410-706-0174 or fill out our online intake form here.    Things you can do to increase the chance of finding legal help include having a copy of your lease, having a list of your belongings that got thrown away, if any, and working on a timeline of the dates of the lease and the illegal eviction or lockout.

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