Smith v. Wakefield, LP

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The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the circuit court affirming the judgment of the district court in favor of Landlord on Landlord’s suit against Tenant seeking to recover unpaid rent that it claimed Tenant owed from 2008, holding that actions for back rent under residential leases are subject to a three-year period of limitations regardless of whether the lease includes provisions that purport to convert it into a contract under seal. In 2007, Tenant entered into a residential lease for an apartment. In 2015, Landlord brought suit seeking to recover unpaid rent it claimed Tenant owed from 2008. Tenant claimed that Landlord had not filed suit within the three-year period of limitations in Md. Code Ann. Cts & Jud. Proc. (CJ) 5-101 that applies to action seeking back rent. The district court entered judgment for Landlord, concluding that the lease qualified as a “contract under seal” and that the twelve-year statute of limitations set forth in CJ 5-102 applied. The circuit court affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the three-year period of limitations set forth in CJ 5-101 governs actions for back rent under residential leases, regardless of whether the lease includes provisions that purport to convert it into a contract under seal. View "Smith v. Wakefield, LP" on Justia Law