Once a landlord is awarded possession due to failure to pay rent, an action for holding over, breach of lease, or wrongful detainer, eviction of a residential tenant (including lockout) cannot occur until the court orders the sheriff to proceed with eviction. The court will not issue an order for the sheriff to proceed with eviction until the landlord files Form DC/CV 81 (Petition for Warrant of Restitution). The Petition for Warrant of Restitution cannot be filed until expiration of the applicable appeal period. This period is four (4) days for failure to pay rent actions and ten (10) days for most other actions. Accordingly, the tenant cannot be evicted during this period. See Real Property § 8-401(d).
In the instance of a judgment for possession for the tenant’s failure to pay rent, so long as the tenant maintains the redemption rights, a tenant can avoid eviction by paying the rent. In some instances, if the tenant has the funds on hand, the sheriff will briefly delay the eviction (by a few minutes that is) to allow the tenant to arrange payment with the landlord.
The Petition for Warrant of Restitution must be filed within 60 days from the later of the date of judgment or any stay of execution. Failure to do so will result in the judgment being stricken. Furthermore, if the judgment for possession has not been executed within 60 days after the court issues the order for the warrant, the warrant shall expire and the judgment for possession will be stricken.
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