Maryland Evictions Halted, For Now

Darrell Smith Jr. handled marketing for Aqua Guard Water Proofing Corp. and worked as a publicist with clients that include a local radio disc jockey.

Those two jobs allowed the 49-year-old of College Park to pay $2,300 per month to rent a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

Then the coronavirus pandemic shut down the state in March. Smith became furloughed and contracts with his clients ended.

Without steady income, Smith’s landlord filed a failure to pay rent eviction notice in court to have him removed from the property.

On Friday, Nov. 13, a judge ruled in Smith’s favor. He can remain on the property. In addition, a grant of nearly $11,000 from a Prince George’s County emergency rental assistance fund paid up to six months of back rent.

“I got a victory today, but it didn’t have to be done this way,” said Smith, who currently receives $158 per week in unemployment. “Landlord tried to throw me out in the street. This is not how you treat people.”

Smith joins thousands of Marylanders who continue to face eviction proceedings, even with a moratorium in place from Sept. 4 until Dec. 31 instituted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The federal

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