April 25th Public Hearing on the Landlord Retaliation for Rent Stabilization Act
On April 25th, the Prince George’s County Council will have a public hearing on
CB-51-2023, the Landlord Retaliation for Rent Stabilization Act, is an emergency law that aims to prevent landlords from retaliating against tenants who are protected by rent stabilization laws. This law prohibits landlords from ending a lease with a tenant in order to force them to sign a new lease with a higher rent, which would allow the landlord to avoid the rent increase limitations established by the recently enacted CB-07-2023 the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023.
The Rent Stabilization Act of 2023, limits how much landlords can raise rent each year. Under this law, landlords cannot increase rent by more than 3% from the previous year's rental price. The law would be in effect for 6 months, and any new lease agreements signed during that time would also be subject to the same rent increase cap. Additionally, during this period, tenants cannot be charged late fees or penalties for late rent payments. The law will remain in effect until 90 days after it expires.
The Landlord Retaliation for Rent Stabilization Act, also clarifies that landlords can increase the rent of units that are not subject to the Rent Stabilization Act, but only if they sign a new lease with a new tenant, not a pre-existing tenant. The law was created as an emergency measure to address the threat of homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing, which affects the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
For more information on this bill, please contact the bill’s primary sponsor Councilmember Krystal Oriadha.
Changes to current law:
· Additions are in bold and underlined (ie: Example)
· Deletions appear in brackets the text has line through the middle of letters. (ie: Example)
Sec. 13-144. Temporary Rent Stabilization- Limiting rent increases, notification requirements.
(a) From the effective date of this Rent Stabilization Act (Act), a landlord shall not:
(i) increase rent in an amount that exceeds three percent (3%) per annum of the existing rent amount for any Pre-existing Tenant; nor
(ii) terminate the lease because tenant sought enforcement of this Act.
[b] [Affordable housing with Federal, State, or local subsidy or support subject to 4 recorded affordability covenants, any dwelling unit that the tenant is receiving rental 5 assistance, and those who provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income 6 households under contract with a governmental agency shall be exempt from the 7 provisions of this Act.]
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term Pre-existing Tenant is any tenant who was subject to a valid lease at the Landlord’s rental property prior to April 17, 2023.
(c) Exemptions. The following units shall be exempt from the provisions of this Act
(i) [c] Dwelling units that received an initial use and occupancy permit in the last five years of the effective date of this Act [shall be exempt from the provisions of this Act].
(ii) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall review all applications for exemption for any dwelling unit governed by a Federal, State or County agreement that subsidizes the tenant’s rent and that agreement remain in effect during the tenure of this Act. All provisions of this Act shall remain in full effect until DHCD grants the application for exemption.
(d) Senior Housing. To the extent not preempted by federal law, all landlords of senior housing properties are subject to this Rent Stabilization Act.
Sec. 13-160. - Retaliatory actions.
(a)(1) For any reason listed in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a landlord of any 27 residential property may not:
(i) Harass, intimidate, threaten, or otherwise interfere with a tenant's exercise of their legal rights;
(ii) Bring or threaten to bring an action for possession against a tenant;
(iii) Increase the rent or decrease the services to which a tenant has been entitled;
(iv) Terminate a periodic tenancy.
(2) A landlord may not take an action that is listed under paragraph
(1) of this subsection for any of the following reasons:
(i) Because the tenant or the tenant's agent has complained, in good faith, to the landlord or to any public agency concerning the tenant's rights, specific housing deficiencies, an alleged violation of the lease, a violation of law, or a condition on the leased premises that is a substantial threat to the health or safety of occupants to
1. The landlord; or
2. Any public agency against the landlord;
(ii) Because the tenant or the tenant's agent has:
1. Consulted an attorney on any matter involving tenant's rights or specific housing violations; or
2. Filed a lawsuit against the landlord; or
3. Testified or participated in a lawsuit involving the landlord.
(iii) Because the tenant has participated in any tenants' organization.
(iv) Because tenant sought enforcement of Section 13-144 of the Code.