Justia Class Action Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Maryland Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Maryland has ruled that the term "rent" under Real Property § 8-401, as applied to residential leases, refers to the fixed, periodic payments a tenant is required to make for use or occupancy of a rented premises. This definition excludes additional charges such as late fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs. The court also ruled that any provision in a residential lease that allows a landlord to allocate payments of "rent" to other obligations, thereby subjecting a tenant to eviction proceedings based on failure to pay "rent", violates Real Property § 8-208(d)(2). Further, penalties for late payment of rent, capped at 5% of the monthly amount of rent due, are inclusive of any costs of collection other than court-awarded costs. Finally, the court ruled that the Circuit Court erred in declining to review the merits of the tenants’ second renewed motion for class certification. The case has been remanded for further proceedings in line with these holdings. View "Westminster Management v. Smith" on Justia Law