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Md. AG Frosh issues guidance for tenants facing eviction

May 29th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

With Maryland courts working through a backlog of eviction cases filed throughout the pandemic, Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) released guidance for tenants facing eviction.

The guidance issued Thursday by the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division includes information about where tenants facing eviction can access legal aid and their rights in the eviction process.

“The COVID pandemic has substantially affected the ability of many Marylanders to pay rent due to job loss, diminished wages, health crises, and more,” Frosh said in a release. “For families facing eviction and possible homelessness, there is help available. We encourage Maryland residents struggling to pay rent to read and share this document.”

Of paramount importance in defending against an eviction is attending court hearings, the guidance tells readers. If tenants do not respond to the court or appear for hearings, the guidance warns, the judge will likely rule for the landlord and the eviction will proceed.

The guidance includes a full list of resources for tenants, including rental assistance and legal aid programs. Among those programs are the Maryland Legal Assistance Call Center at 877-546-5595 and a variety of local rent relief programs, as well as Maryland Legal Aid, which provides free and low-cost legal assistance.

Thousands of Marylanders fell behind on rent amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and fair housing advocates repeatedly have called on state and local officials to institute more robust protections for renters.