A yearlong investigation by The Baltimore Sun found that the rent court system routinely works against tenants, while in many cases failing to hold landlords accountable for not meeting minimum housing standards.

Sun Investigates team members Doug Donovan and Jean Marbella spent a year examining Baltimore's court system for landlord-tenant disputes and examining possible solutions for improving the process. They spent dozens of hours observing court proceedings and touring tenants' homes, interviewed dozens of tenants, landlords, officials, and analysts, and reviewed thousands of pages of court filings and other documents. The Baltimore Sun's work was supported by a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network.


Explore more Sun coverage of Baltimore's housing court below.

New York City Council approves legislation guaranteeing a free lawyer to low-income tenants facing eviction.
Baltimore City Councilman calls for fund to help low-income tenants hire lawyers to fight eviction.
Maryland and Baltimore lawmakers are calling for more legal aid for low-income tenants facing evictions
The national momentum to help restore balance to housing courts officials say favor landlords over tenants has largely bypassed Baltimore.
A look at big problems in housing in Baltimore: People losing their homes — renters through eviction and homeowners under a federal program originally intended to keep them in their houses.
Baltimore's eviction rate is among the highest in the nation, with devastating costs for the families involved and the city as a whole.
Eviction, and the threat of eviction, weigh heavily on the lives of many of Baltimore's poorest tenants. They move from one ramshackle rental to the next, migrants in their own city, squeezed by rents that consume most of their meager incomes, intolerable housing conditions, a court system that advocates say is insufficiently responsive to their complaints, and a rate of eviction actions that is among the highest in the nation.
Today Rheubottom, 58, finds himself in an ironic position: enforcing eviction orders. Tensions between landlords and tenants can run high. Police say a confrontation between a tenant and a landlord in February escalated into a fatal shooting.
In Baltimore, the eviction business has been booming. The court issues some 70,000 eviction notices each year. About 7,500 tenants were turned out of their homes last year.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Attorney General Brian Frosh call for reforms to rent court process
Halisi Ross thought it was the right rental.
Housing inspectors in Baltimore have issued more than $32 million in fines and late fees to property owners since 2010.
The data don't lie — tenants are at an overwhelming disadvantage in Baltimore rent court — but several reforms could restore it to its original purpose.
Legislation sponsored last year by then-state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh brought landlords, tenant advocates and judges together in a work group to discuss ways to
A large residential property management company has settled a class-action lawsuit with 1,442 Baltimore tenants who accused the firm of charging improper fees and then threatening them with eviction to force payment, the parties announced Friday.
It seems like a fairly straight-forward question: what is rent? But judges across Maryland who preside over eviction requests are struggling with the answer.
Landlords in the state have won cases in rent court despite failing to properly document claims, serve legal notice on tenants or prove that they are licensed to rent properties, according to a study released Tuesday by Maryland Legal Aid.
The $1.3 million a jury awarded Chauncey Liles Jr. for lead poisoning is in jeopardy due to a legal dispute between a London-based insurance company and Liles' former landlord.