Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Grady Management, Inc. v. Epps

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

August 28, 2014

GRADY MANAGEMENT, INC.
v.
JESSE EPPS

Page 458

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Richard Jordan, Judge.

Argued by: Todd Kelting (Offit Kurman, PA on the brief) all of Bethesda, MD for Appellant.

Argued by: Hong Park (Maryland Legal Aid on the brief) all of Rockville, MD for Appellee.

Woodward, Nazarian, Kenney, James A., III (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ. Opinion by Kenney, J.

OPINION

Page 459

[218 Md.App. 715] Kenney, J.

Appellant, Grady Management, Inc. (" Grady Management" ), appeals an order of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County granting summary judgment in favor of appellee, Jesse Epps (" Mr. Epps" ). It presents one question[1] for our review which we rephrase as follows:

Did the circuit court err in granting appellee's motion for summary judgment? For the reasons that follow, we shall affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

[218 Md.App. 716] FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Mr. Epps is a tenant residing in the Snowdens Ridge Apartments at 2103 Harlequin Terrace in Silver Spring, Maryland, an apartment project that receives federal funds under the Section 8 New Construction Program[2] to subsidize the rent for its

Page 460

tenants. Mr. Epps and Grady Management entered into a model lease for such subsidized programs, which provides that " [a]fter the initial term ends, the Agreement will continue for successive terms of one Year each unless automatically terminated as permitted by paragraph 23 of this Agreement." The termination clause (Paragraph 23) states, in pertinent part:

23. Termination of Tenancy
***
b. Any termination of this Agreement by the Landlord must be carried out in accordance with HUD regulations, State and local law, and the terms of this Agreement.
c. The Landlord may terminate this Agreement for the following reasons:
1. the Tenant's material noncompliance with the terms of this Agreement; [3]
***
d. the Landlord may terminate this Agreement for other good cause, which includes, but is not limited to, the tenant's [218 Md.App. 717] refusal to accept change to this agreement. Terminations for " other good cause" may only be effective as of the end of any initial[4] or successive term.[5]

The term material noncompliance with the lease includes:

Page 461

(1) one or more substantial violations of the lease. . . .[6]

On November 3, 2010, Grady Management brought an action, under the breach of lease statute, Md. Code (1974, 2010 [218 Md.App. 718] Repl. Vol.), § 8-402.1 of the Real Property Article (" R.P." ),[7] in the District Court. The case was transferred to the circuit court after Mr. Epps requested a jury trial. The action alleged that Mr. Epps, a member of " his household[,] or guest [made] excessive noises" and " threatened another resident." On July 29, 2011, a jury found that Mr. Epps had breached the lease, and that the breach was substantial, but that it did not warrant eviction.

On January 31, 2012, Grady Management sent Mr. Epps a Notice to Vacate by April 1, 2012 based on " other good cause and/ or material noncompliance with the covenants and conditions of [Mr. Epps's] lease agreement[.]" More specifically, that Mr. Epps or a guest of his household

made excessive noise and disturbed [his] neighbors. [Mr. Epps,] an occupant[,] or guest threatened another resident. These incidents occurred in September 2010 in or about or close to [Mr. Epps's] premises of 2103 Harlequin Terrace, Silver Spring, MD. There were also prior incidents of noise [218 Md.App. 719] making which occurred in June, August, September and November 2006 as well as April and May 2007[8] in or about or close to [Mr. Epps's] premises of 2103 Harlequin Terrace Silver Spring, MD. All of the herein described incidents were described in answers to discovery in [the breach of lease case]. A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury on or about July 29, 2011 found that this conduct constituted a substantial breach of the lease in [that case.]

When Mr. Epps refused to vacate, Grady

Page 462

Management filed a Tenant Holding Over[9] Complaint in the District Court on April 10, 2012. In his answer, he argued that the complaint was barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel because of the breach of lease case. Mr. Epps again demanded a jury trial, and the case was transferred to the circuit court. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment on September 10, 2012.

In its motion for summary judgment, Grady Management argued that the burden of proof for removing a holdover tenant is much less than that in a breach of lease case. Arguing that the jury in the breach of lease case found that the excessive noise and threat qualified as a substantial breach of Mr. Epps's lease, there was good cause to terminate the [218 Md.App. 720] lease at the end of the term, even if those acts did not warrant an eviction during the term of the lease. Relying on Carter v. Md. Mgmt. Co., 377 Md. 596, 835 A.2d 158 (2003), Grady Management argued that a tenant holding over action can be brought against a federally subsidized tenant when the tenancy has been terminated for good cause. Grady Management stated, " [t]he [ Carter ] Court held that the tenant does not have an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.