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New Maryland Landlord-Tenant Law Effective June 1, 2023

Pet Protections During Evictions

Pursuant to House Bill 102, effective June 1, 2023, a landlord and law enforcement carrying out an eviction have the following obligations with regard to any action for possession of real property (nonpayment of rent, tenant holding over, breach of lease, or wrongful detainer):

(1) Upon eviction, the unit must be immediately inspected for any pet;
(2) If there is any such pet, give it to the tenant or other person in possession;
(3) If there is a pet but the tenant or person in possession is not present, the law enforcement official must contact an animal shelter or rescue organization to take custody of the pet and the landlord must cooperate.

A pet MAY NOT be removed from the unit following an eviction and left outdoors but must remain in the unit until the foregoing steps are completed.

Further, beginning November 1, 2023, at the execution of a lease, the landlord MUST include with the lease a link to a fact sheet to be published by the Department of Agriculture regarding how a person may care for and protect any pets in the event the person is evicted. Further, effective November 1, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary MUST include a link to the same fact sheet with any Warrant of Restitution issued by the Court.

This change requires additional cooperation at the time of any eviction and will also require amendment to residential leases in Maryland once the fact sheet is made available by the Department of Agriculture.

If you need assistance with understanding recent changes in Maryland landlord-tenant law or drafting legally-compliant residential leases, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or e-mail:

Avery Barton Strachan, Esq.
(410) 385-9113

Kerri L. Smith, Esq.
(410) 385-9106

Disclaimer: Local, State and Federal laws, orders, rules and regulations may be modified and updated at any time and without notice. Likewise, orders of the Court and communications regarding Landlord-Tenant actions are also being continuously added, amended and updated. That said, the information provided is based on our current understanding of the laws, orders, rules and regulations that are currently in effect. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you seek legal counsel before initiating any sort of Landlord-Tenant action to ensure that you are acting in compliance with all aspects of any local, Maryland and Federal laws, orders, rules and regulations in effect at that time, as well as all orders of the Court.

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