What Are Squatters Rights In Maryland

In Maryland, squatter's rights are very similar to tenant's rights. If you have a guest in your home or on your property that refuses to leave when asked, then you have the right to file for an wrongful detainer. This is filed in your local District Court. It cannot be used for current tenants or tenants that are holding over on an expired lease. If someone has a court order for property possession, the wrongful detainer cannot be used either.


The Court Will Send a Summons to the Squatter

Once a property owners makes a wrongful detainer complaint through their District Court, a summons will be issued to the person accused of squatting. A date will be given that requires the individual to appear in court and if there is a defense that may justify their presence on a property. Sometimes the person who is squatting cannot be found by process servers. If this happens, Maryland requires that a notice of the summons be placed in a prominent position on the property and that a notice be sent by First Class Mail to the last known address of the individual. Once the case is heard, the judge will either rule in favor of the property owner or in favor of the squatter. Property owners who win may receive a monetary award for harm and court costs that are suffered by the eviction process. Default judgments are awarded when the squatter in question does not appear. The local sheriff will be asked to remove the person residing unlawfully on the presence.


Maryland Allows For an Appeals Process

Squatters in Maryland have the ability to appeal a decision made against them, as do property owners. The appeal must happen within 10 days of the ruling in District Court. Squatters who have been found to be in wrongful possession of the property can keep possession if they file an affidavit that their appeal is not to delay the eviction process. Squatters will also need to file for a bond or pay all court costs in the case, the fair rental value of the property from the time they first took possession, damages or losses from their squatting, and the fair rental value of the property through the appeal. Appeals are heard 5-15 days from the time they are filed. If the property owner wins the appeal, the sheriff will be order to evict the individual.

Posted on Mar 10, 2015


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