Maryland Court of Appeals Restates the Law on Rent Escrow Cases
On November 29, 2016, The Maryland Court of Appeals published an opinion regarding rent escrow.
The 21 page opinion in Wendy Crane v. EZ Rentals is simply a restatement of the current rent escrow law found in the Maryland Real Property Article, §8-211(e).
The Honorable Robert N. McDonald's opinion was summarized as follows:
- The summary ejectment statute provides a process for a landlord to obtain a judgment for unpaid rent and to regain possession of the premises from a delinquent tenant. The rent escrow law provides a tenant with remedies for serious conditions and defects in a residential rental unit that a landlord has failed to repair. Under the rent escrow statute, a tenant may refuse to pay rent and raise the existence of the asserted defects or conditions as an affirmative defense to a summary ejectment action brought by the landlord. Maryland Code, Real Property Article, §§8-211, 8-401. (emphasis added)
MMHA was a part of this proceeding at the request of the Court Of Appeals becasue the owner of EZ Rentals, who was not a member of the association, had passed away while the appeal was pending and thus did not file an answer to it. MMHA, therefore, filed an amicus curiae brief, which allows a party with strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but not a party tothe action, to petition the court for permission to file a brief, ostensibly on behalf of a party but actually to suggest arationale consistent with its own views. The Latin "Amicus Curiae" literally translates to "friend of the court."