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Monday, October 10, 2016

Maryland judges differ on ‘what is rent?’

BALTIMORE (AP) — It seems like a fairly straightforward question: What is rent?

But judges across Maryland who preside over eviction requests are struggling with the answer.

For decades, landlords in Maryland have been able to file failure-to-pay-rent actions that threaten eviction not just for delinquent rent, but also for overdue water bills, utilities and other expenses.

But an opinion by the state’s highest court this year is upending that tradition by doing what Maryland’s real estate statute does not: defining “rent.”

The state Court of Appeals concluded that rent “denotes the periodic charge for use or occupancy of the premises, but not the various other payments that the tenant may owe to the landlord from time to time, even if the lease characterizes them as ‘deemed rent’ or ‘additional rent.'”

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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the state legislature should get right on that.

Anonymous said...

That would be like saying changing the oil in a leased car is an "undo" burden. I bet the city will end up eating the slumlords water bills.

Anonymous said...

If the water bill,utilities and other are specified in the rental agreement,that the renter pays, then they are part of the rent

Grace Waters said...

In fact all bills should be clarified before either side can enter into agreement with each other

Anonymous said...

Alter the lease to say this is the cost of rent. Do not specify utilities. That way if they do not pay specified amount then evict.

Anonymous said...

Raise the rent to cover the utilities plus some. Don't like it, don't rent this place.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long and the liberal courts will decide that renters are actually owners

Anonymous said...

If you rent and do not pay your electric bill you can lose your apartment because it is unsafe and could cause pipes to freeze. If you do not pay your water bill your water should be shut off and you should be evicted on the same grounds.
I will say however when my wife and I lived in Brittingham square we would get regular water bills of $10 or $20 and then out of the blue get one for $200 with no explanation and no offer to investigate what the problem might be. I know it wasn't a problem in our apartment (no excess use or toilet running). We moved out because of this.

Anonymous said...

2:43 PM Uneducated. Water bills are in the property owners name. Per the city. Never in the renters.

4:30 PM Comprehension issues. Actually read the article. They will not allow it, it says so.

4:56 PM Ok, then I will not rent. 1 person water bill vs 4 person water bill and you are just guessin and want me to pay you more than actual usage?

5:57 PM Wow, just wow. You were paying for your neighbors water and I am sorry you were so stupid as to rent from them or at the very least ask for an explanation. You can live without electric, that's your choice and how the heck would your landlord know you turned it off? You do not get "evicted" for having no water either. There are alternative ways to heat your abode. You do not get evicted because your pipes might freeze.

Anonymous said...

It's the government that holds the landlord responsible for unpaid utilities.

Anonymous said...

6:25 almost every community, county, state has some kind of regulation in their code that states that for a domicile to be occupied it must meet minimum requirements such as electric and water among other things.

Anonymous said...

6:25 sounds like an armchair section 8 educated lawyer. I keep my rents high to keep you people out. Rather lose a month or two rent than get cheated out of it by non paying tenants that trash the house.

Anonymous said...

This is a prime example of our screwed up judiciary after years of Democrat appointees.