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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Real Estate breach of contract - Paul, I am in MD and I need

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Real Estate breach of contract - Paul, I am in MD and I need some advice for my sister. She has owned a fairly nice townhouse for about 10 years. For financial reasons she decided to start renting it out. It rents for roughly $2500 a month and my sister can't afford to carry any vacant months, if at all possible. On June 10th she got a signed contract and took the house off the market. A tenant signed a contract saying she would move in yesterday, July 15th and that on July 10th she would pay her a months security deposit and 1/2 months rent. On July 10th she said she didn't have the money and now she is saying she doesn't want to stay there even though there has been no loss of employment or hardship on her side. This is putting my sister in a real financial bind. What recourse do we have? Thanks, Andy
Thank you for your new question and for asking for me to assist you again.

If your sister has a signed contract, your sister can now bind the person to the lease. This means your sister can sue the tenant in court to force the tenant to pay damages for their breaching the lease and also attorney's fees for their intentional breach of the lease. Unfortunately, your sister does have to sue to get her recourse, since it is obvious this person has no intent to honor the contract she signed. When your sister wins a judgment against the tenant, she can then seek to garnish the tenant's wages from her employer and also can seek to seize any of the tenant's bank accounts to satisfy the judgment from the court.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I believe the mere threat of this activity will get the person to fall in line by either taking this house or paying damages. However, as you know, I have done a ton of my own legal stuff. Just point me in the right direction of what steps I (my sister) would need to take to get the ball rolling in MD ie. "Go to the county courthouse and .....? Thanks.

Thank you for your response.

Yes, you need to begin by drafting a complaint/petition, which would detail all of the facts and then describe the charge against her of breach of contract and also the damages your sister is seeking. The petition/complaint is filed in the court and the tenant is served a copy of the petition and a summons to appear.

You can start by sending her a letter informing her she is in breach of contract and if she does not honor the contract or pay damages for the time your sister cannot rent the property again, your sister will sue her and will seek to garnish her wages and seize her property to satisfy the judgment.
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