Filing a Suit in a Landlord-Tenant Case
If you are a landlord and you are having problems with a tenant, you must provide notice to the tenant to correct the problem, pay rent, or to move out. Depending on your situation, you should file the appropriate form according to the guidelines below:
- For failure to pay rent, use the Demand for Possession, Nonpayment of Rent form (Form DC 100a)
- If the tenant has caused a health hazard or damaged the property, use the Notice To Quit, Health Hazard/Injury to Premises form (Form DC 100b)
- If the tenant owns a mobile home and is renting the lot from you, use the Notice to Quit, Mobile Home Park-Mobile Home Owner form (Form DC 100d)
- For all other situations, use the Notice to Quit, Termination of Tenancy form (Form DC 100c)
If you have filed a Notice to Quit and the tenant has failed to comply with your request, you may file a complaint with the court asking the court to award you possession of the premises or a monetary judgment for damages. There is a fee for filing a complaint in District Court. After you file a complaint form, the court will issue a summons. The defendant must be served with both a copy of the complaint and the summons.
If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff and the defendant does not comply with the judgment within the specified timeframe, the plaintiff can apply for eviction by filing an Order of Eviction (Form DC 107) with the court. An Order of Eviction cannot be issued if any part of the amount due under the judgment has been paid, except under special circumstances. Once an Order of Eviction is entered, it must be served on the defendant by an appointed court officer.