Baltimore City requires a notice to be sent to each tenant at the time a “Failure to Pay Rent” (FPR) notice is filed. Both the Sheriff and the landlord are required to send this notice to the tenant:
From Sheriff John W. Anderson
You are receiving this notice because your landlord has filed an eviction complaint claiming that you have not paid rent. The trial date and time is in the upper right corner of the notice. This office is required by law to mail you this notice. You may have certain rights including:
• Tenants have the right to know the amount of rent due and have a judge hear any dispute.
• Landlords must keep a ledger of rent charges and payments.
• If the landlord fails to repair a condition on the property that is a threat to life, health or safety after reasonable notice, a tenant may ask to pay rent into escrow with the Court until repairs are made to the home. The tenant may also ask the Court to reduce the rent.
• Landlords must have a license to rent a residential property.
• Landlords must comply with Maryland’s law on lead paint for residential properties built before 1978.
Help is available to understand your rights. Below are free legal services for Failure to Pay Rent eviction cases.
• District Court Self-Help Resource Center (advice only)*
410-260-1392, http://mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/districtctselfhelpctr.html 501 E. Fayette St., 3rd Flr., Baltimore 21202 (walk-ins welcome)
• Public Justice Center (advice and representation)*
410-625-9409 or 410-878-8664, www.publicjustice.org , 501 E. Fayette St., Rm. 203, Baltimore 21202
• Homeless Persons Representation Project (advice and representation – focused on subsidized housing)*
410-685-6589, www.hprplaw.org, 201 N. Charles Street, Suite 1104, Baltimore 21201
• Tenant Volunteer Lawyer of the Day Program by Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland (same-day representation at 8:30am docket, Tues. – Fri.) * 443-273-5200, www.probonomd.org
• Maryland Legal Aid (advice and representation – focused on subsidized housing) *
410-951-7777, www.mdlab.org , 500 E. Lexington St., Baltimore 21202
• Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (advice and representation – lead & other health hazards) *
• People’s Law Library, http://www.peoples-law.org (legal information only)
Mediation Mediation brings both sides together to try to resolve disputes outside of the courtroom.
• Dist. Ct. of Md., Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (mediation that helps people talk about important issues and create solutions to meet their needs) https://mdcourts.gov/district/adr/home/rentcourt Ask courtroom clerk or presiding judge when you go to court.
• Restorative Agreement (facilitated conversation where parties discuss all issues and how to move forward)*
410-889-7400, www.restorativeresponse.org , firstname.lastname@example.org
• Baltimore Community Mediation Center* (mediation)
410-467-9165, www.communitymediation.org, 3333 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218
• 211 (general financial assistance)
• Eviction Prevention (financial assistance to avoid eviction)* (410) 878-8650; 501 E. Fayette St., Rm. 207, Baltimore 21202