Eviction Process

Evicting a tenant in Prince George's County, MD, requires a landlord to have legal grounds, such as non-payment of rent, breach of lease, or holding over (tenant staying beyond the lease term without permission). Each scenario demands different notice periods and forms, ensuring the landlord's steps align with Maryland state law.

For non-payment of rent, landlords can file a Failure to Pay Rent form with the District Court as soon as rent is overdue. Tenants typically have a few days to pay or face eviction, emphasizing the priority given to rental agreements and the importance of timely rent payments.

Breach of lease situations require a 30-day notice for remediable breaches or 14 days for serious or dangerous violations. These notices must detail the tenant's wrongdoing and how they can rectify the issue if possible, providing a path to correct the mistake and avoid eviction.

When a lease ends but the tenant won't leave, known as a Holdover Tenant situation, landlords must provide a one-month notice for eviction. This scenario highlights the importance of clear communication and agreements between landlords and tenants regarding lease terms and renewal.

A crucial part of the eviction process is the court proceedings. After the appropriate notice period, landlords file a complaint in the District Court where the property is located, initiating the legal process that may result in the tenant's eviction. The court will set a hearing where both parties can present their case, requiring landlords to prove their claim under the court's scrutiny.

COVID-19 disrupted traditional eviction procedures, imposing moratoriums and special programs to prevent evictions during the crisis. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, for example, provided financial support to those struggling to pay rent due to pandemic-related hardships. Landlords and tenants had to adapt to rapidly changing rules and new programs.

Landlords also had to navigate new challenges with tenants facing unprecedented difficulties, often encouraging both parties to seek out-of-court settlements or rental assistance. This situation underscored the broader community impacts of evictions and the need for solutions that benefit both renters and property owners.

Importantly, any attempt by a landlord to evict a tenant outside the court process, known as a "self-help" eviction, is strictly prohibited. This safeguards tenants against the unlawful removal from their homes without due process.

Understanding and navigating the eviction process in Prince George's County, MD, requires adherence to legal protocols—from providing proper notices to filing accurate documents with the court—and an awareness of current events that could alter the legal landscape.

An image depicting a courtroom setting with a judge, landlord, and tenant present, symbolizing the eviction process in Prince George’s County, MD

Rental Assistance Programs

Rental Assistance Programs in Prince George's County, MD: A Lifeline for Tenants and Landlords

In Prince George's County, MD, rental assistance programs serve as a safety net for tenants facing financial hardships. These programs help prevent eviction and foster stability for both tenants and landlords.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP):

This program provides funds to cover unpaid rent and utilities for eligible applicants affected by COVID-19's economic impact. Tenants must prove they've encountered hardship due to the pandemic, such as job loss or increased expenses.

Eligibility criteria:
  • Households must have an income below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and be at risk of homelessness or housing instability.
  • They must also demonstrate how COVID-19 either reduced their income or increased their expenses.
Application process:

The application process requires documents proving hardship, identity, and rental agreements. Applications are only accepted when the program has funding, so timing is crucial.

Types of assistance provided:

ERAP covers unpaid rent and ensures utilities and internet services remain connected, helping tenants avoid eviction.

Eviction Prevention Initiative:

Prince George's County also offers the Eviction Prevention Initiative, a program targeting households above 50% AMI but at risk of eviction. Eligibility follows a similar path to ERAP but focuses on imminent evictions.

Rental Relief Fund for Landlords:

Landlords facing income loss from unpaid rent can be reimbursed through the Rental Relief Fund. The assistance focuses on landlords who agree not to pursue eviction against tenants owing back rent, promoting cooperation where both parties work together.

How do they work?

Once approved for the assistance program, payments are made directly to landlords or utility companies, allowing tenants to maintain stable housing without the burden of debt.

These programs aim to provide support, ensuring everyone in Prince George's County, MD, can maintain housing stability. Tenants avoid eviction, landlords secure their income, and the community benefits from stability.

Image of a diverse group of people, including tenants and landlords, coming together in a community setting

Landlord-Tenant Laws

Navigating Rent Collection and Eviction Laws in Prince George's County, MD

Landlords and tenants in Prince George's County, MD, must be well-versed in the steps involved in rent collection and eviction. Let's dive into the key landlord-tenant laws in PG County.

Rent Collection:

In PG County, collecting rent is usually straightforward—the tenant leases, and they pay. State laws don't set a maximum rent increase limit, allowing landlords to set rent to market rates at lease renewal. However, the law requires fairness and notice.

Landlords must give tenants 60 days notice for any rent increase or significant lease changes (90 days for tenants over 62).1 This provides an opportunity for negotiation or preparation.

Late Fees:

PG County law addresses late fees: late fees cannot exceed 5% of the rent due.2 Tenants have a 10-day grace period before these fees can be applied, ensuring everyone knows when the consequences will take effect.

Tenant Rights & Legal Obligations:

Tenant rights are a focal point, especially when eviction is a possibility. Tenants are entitled to a habitable dwelling and the right to request repairs, with landlords required to promptly address these issues. Ignoring such requests can lead to legal liabilities for landlords.

Tenants also have the power to withhold rent if the landlord fails to make critical repairs, a move that can compel landlords to address safety issues.

The Legal Steps for Eviction:

Eviction laws in PG County require legal precision and procedural steps. Grounds for eviction include failure to pay rent, breach of the lease (including disruptive or illegal activities), or remaining in the property post-lease without consent.

Landlords must carefully draft each eviction notice. A Failure to Pay Rent notice may only give a tenant a few days; breaching the lease grants a tenant 14 or 30 days to vacate, depending on the violation's severity. Holdovers receive a one-month notice to leave.

Landlords must avoid "self-help" eviction tactics, such as removing tenants without court orders, as this can lead to legal consequences.

The eviction process must be handled with fairness and adherence to local laws. PG County enforces a process where fair play directs the proceedings.


Understanding landlord-tenant law in Prince George's County requires staying informed about the lawful timetable for rent increases and fees, tenant rights, landlord obligations, and carefully navigating the eviction process. By ensuring everyone knows their roles, participants can maintain successful tenancies and promote stability in the county.

A realistic image depicting a landlord and tenant discussing rent payment and eviction laws in an office setting

Impact of Eviction Records

The Long-Lasting Impact of Eviction Records in Prince George's County, MD

As we focus on the aftermath of an eviction in Prince George's County, MD, it's essential to understand the long-term effects on tenants' lives. An eviction can impact a tenant's life for years to come.

Challenges in Finding New Housing:

Once an eviction is recorded, the subsequent steps become more challenging. Finding a new apartment after an eviction can be difficult, as prospective landlords may hesitate to offer a lease, fearing a repeat occurrence.

Credit Score Impact:

While an eviction itself may not directly appear on a credit report, related factors, such as unpaid rent turned into debt collection, certainly do.3 These issues can lower your credit score, affecting not only future housing opportunities but also loans and other lines of credit.

Legal and Administrative Hurdles:

Eviction's consequences include legal and administrative hurdles and their associated fees, which can impact tenants' future prospects. Seeking a new start becomes a challenge, as background checks and eviction databases are widely screened by landlords during tenant screening.

Social Implications:

Alongside the practical aspects, there are social implications—the perception that can surround former tenants carrying the "evicted" label. This can alter how you're perceived in future housing situations, impacting future opportunities.

Moving Past the Eviction:

For those with an eviction record, the path forward involves navigating a journey of rebuilding – demonstrating financial resilience, renewed rental responsibilities, or even providing context around the circumstances. These efforts aim to lessen the eviction's prior impact and reframe the narrative for future housing opportunities.

Legal assistance can be valuable, guiding individuals through the complexities of leasing laws and negotiation points. Financial planning is important, ensuring debts are managed and savings are prioritized, signaling stability to future rental applications.


Moving beyond an eviction in Prince George's County, MD, serves as a reminder in our real estate landscape: while eviction records can impact securing future housing, affecting one's credit and creating legal and social challenges, there are opportunities to forge a new path through responsibility, resilience, and potentially seeking support.

An image depicting the aftermath of an eviction, including a person looking at a denied rental application, a credit report with a low score, and legal documents. The setting is somber and reflective of the challenges faced by individuals with eviction records.

Photo by chamo_007 on Unsplash

  1. Prince George's County Code. Sec. 13-180. Notice of Rent Increase Required.
  2. Prince George's County Code. Sec. 13-145. Late Fees.
  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.