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Legal Advice

Landlord Tenant Law

Your Landlord Tenant Experts

Unpaid Rent

The most common landlord tenant court cases are about late rent money. These cases start out when a landlord files a non-payment of rent case in court. In Maryland and Virginia, these cases start in the district court. Rent cases are scheduled fast in many jurisdictions, for example in Maryland cases are often scheduled a month after filing. Tenants may be served with lawsuit notices shortly before the hearing, sometimes giving tenants only a few days to respond. Because the process is so fast, you should call an experienced landlord tenant attorney at Hawgood Hawgood & Moran, LLP to assist you. We have extensive experience representing both landlords and tenants. Call us today (301) 439-0394.


Once you get to court, the judge will call your case and make a decision. It is important to hire an experienced attorney to represent your interests, because the judge is only going to listen to legally relevant defenses. If you’re a landlord, you need an attorney so you can avoid common pitfalls. If you’re a tenant, you should have a lawyer to navigate the process as it can be complex and landlord-friendly. The most commonly litigated defenses in a late rent case are health and safety issues. Make sure you check your state and local rules.

Landlord tenant court tends to be more informal than trial courts of general jurisdiction, but in most (if not all) jurisdictions the legal technicalities of court still apply. This means the rules of evidence must be followed and legal protocols must be followed. If you represent yourself don’t be surprised if a lawyer on the other side uses his or her superior knowledge of the law to stop you from admitting evidence, or slips in inadmissible evidence you didn’t know wasn’t allowed. A judge won’t help you win your case just because you’re not a lawyer. Don’t go it alone, call an experienced landlord tenant attorney at Hawgood Hawgood & Moran, LLP


If you lose, you have a right to appeal. In most cases the appeal time is VERY SHORT. See below for timing information in your state. Appeals are complicated, and you should not try to do them alone. We have extensive experience with landlord tenant appeals.

Appeals Info


For more information see:

Appeal Time Limits​

Non-Payment of Rent: 4 days

Breach of Lease: 10 days

Tenant Holding Over: 10 days

Call us at (240) 278-8698

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