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I understand that the tenant was behind in rent, however, landlords in Maryland are not permitted to lock out tenants or turn off utilities.
"In addition, a landlord who locks out a tenant or reduces essential services can be sued for a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment by the tenant. The tenant would be able to ask for damages including, but not limited to lost or damaged property, cost of a motel and food, storage fees and reasonable attorneys' fees. A tenant who is denied entry to the property may also sue the landlord for similar damages for constructive eviction. The landlord could also be held liable for the difference the tenant must pay for rent in a new property." https://www.peoples-law.org/essential-servicesillegal-lock-out
These are common mistakes that landlords make. The utilities are still on now, correct?
"Maryland state law forbids property owners from taking matters into their own hands when it comes to evicting a tenant. If you personally attempt to force your tenant off of your property in any way, you may face legal troubles of your own. Examples of self-help evictions include:
Self-help evictions in Maryland are not only illegal, they can be dangerous as well. You never know how a tenant is going to react to your kicking them out onto the streets with all of their belongings. Your safety should take priority. Let the courts handle the eviction so that it is done in a professional, safe, and legal way." http://www.baymgmtgroup.com/blog/common-eviction-mistakes-maryland-landlords-make/
So you would unfortunately need to go through the eviction process and hopefully notice of your intention to move forward with the eviction will encourage the tenant to leave sooner rather then waiting for a court date.
I am glad that you went with your instinct to check on the law.
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