Holding Over

Categories :: Housing > Landlord/Tenant

A “holdover tenant” is a tenant who remains in the property they are renting after their lease has ended.

Unless it is stated otherwise in a written lease and initialed by the tenant, the holdover tenant enters into a month-to-month lease if the landlord allows the tenant to remain in the property after the original lease has expired. If the holdover tenant was originally in a week-to-week lease, the holdover period will also be on a week-to-week basis. Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Prop. §8-402(c) 

Holding Over Without Consent


A tenant, or anyone in subsequent possession of the rented property (such as: sub-lessee or assignee), who unlawfully holds over after the lease period ends, is liable to landlord for all actual damages caused by the holding over. At the very least, the holdover tenant is responsible for the apportioned rent during the period of holding over at the rate provided in the lease.

A landlord may be awarded a money judgment in tenant-holding-over cases if the court finds that the tenant was personally served. Click here for more information on service.

A landlord may seek damages under this section as part of the eviction suit, or he may file a separate action for damages. Landlords may also pursue other remedies granted by the lease or other applicable law against a holdover tenant. See the Breach of Lease article for more information.

Judicial Eviction Procedure

When the landlord has given the tenant proper written notice to vacate the property and the tenant does not comply, the landlord may file a complaint, in writing, with the District Court of the county where the property is located.

The court will then issue a summons notifying the tenant to appear in court on the stated day. When both parties appear before the court, the tenant will be required to explain he or she should be permitted to remain in the property. The constable or sheriff will serve the court summons on the tenant, subtenant, or assignee on the property, or on their known or authorized agent. If none of those persons can be found, the sheriff or constable will post a copy of the summons in a conspicuous place on the property. Where tenant, sub-tenant, or assignee has also been sent a notice by first class mail, the posting of the summons will be conclusively presumed to be sufficient service to support a judgment to restore the property to the landlord.

If the landlord accepts "any payment" after the tenant is served with a notice to vacate, but before the eviction, the landlord may still seek to evict the tenant and regain possession of the property. Accepting payment from the tenant will not constitute a waiver of the landlord’s rights, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

If either the landlord or the tenant fails to appear at the eviction hearing, the judge may decide to postpone the hearing for not less than six or more than ten days after the date stated in the summons.

If after the hearing the court rules for the landlord, the tenant will be ordered to leave the dwelling within 4 days. The tenants may also be ordered to pay for the landlord’s costs for filing this suit. If the tenant has not moved out within the time ordered, the landlord may request that the court issue a "warrant of restitution" directing the sheriff to allow the landlord to repossess the property and move the tenant's belongings outside of the property. The sheriff must be present during the actual eviction, however, he will not participate in physically moving tenant's possessions. That is the landlord's responsibility.

If the landlord does not request a warrant of restitution within 60 days of the court’s order for the tenant to leave (or from the expiration date of any stay of execution), the judgment for possession will no longer be valid. If the landlord does not exercise a warrant of restitution within 60 days of the date the warrant was issued, the judgment for possession will no longer be valid.

Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Prop. § 8-401

Proper Notice to Vacate Premises

A landlord must give proper notice before terminating a tenancy.


Either party has the right to appeal the district court’s order to the circuit court within ten days of the district court’s decision. If judgment is for landlord and the tenant appeals, the tenant may remain in the property until the case is decided by the appellate court. For this to happen, the tenant must: a) file an affidavit with the district court explaining that the appeal was not filed only to delay the eviction; and b) file a sufficient bond with one or more securities, with the condition that he will diligently prosecute the appeal and will pay all rent in arrears, all costs in the case, and all loss or damage which the landlord may suffer as a result of tenant remaining in possession, including rent during the time of holding over.

The appeals court will then schedule a date for the hearing within five to fifteen days after the appeal is filed. Notice must be served on the other party or their counsel within at least five days before the hearing. Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Prop. § 8-402

Nonjudicial Eviction 

 A landlord may take possession of the rented property from a tenant if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered possession of the property.

Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Prop § 8a-1102(b)(2)(ii) and Ch. 514, Acts of (2013)



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