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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

PGC Council: Rent Stabilization Act of 2023

Recently the Prince George's County Council had its second reading of CB-007-2023, the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023, which would temporarily amend the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit landlords’ ability to increase rent for certain tenants.


Co-sponsors of this bill include Councilmembers:

For more information about this bill, please contact one of the councilmembers above.




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Background:

CB-007-2023 would be a first for Prince George's County, post the State of Emergency from COVID-19. Both Prince George's and Montgomery County implemented similar measures during the high of the pandemic. to prevent mass evictions due to layoffs of county residents.


The Prince George's County Office of Audits, in their analysis of CB-007-2023, stated that other jurisdictions that have passed similar temporary rent increase caps such as:

  • Montgomery County passed Bill 30-21, which prohibited landlords from increasing rents and levying late fees on tenants during the COVID-19 emergency.2The District of Columbia passed D.C. Law 23-8693 putting a moratorium on all rent increases on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 emergency. Expired December 2021.

  • Rockville, Maryland, passed an emergency ordinance capping rent increases at 1.4% per year during the COVID-19 Emergency. Expired February 2022.


Purpose:

This bill aims to prohibit landlords from increasing rent on rental units by more than three percent for tenants.


Exceptions:

Additional restrictions on rent increases for restricted rental units do not apply once rent is at least an unspecified amount each month.


Who would implement this policy:

  • Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

  • Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE)

New Bill Text (Key sections are highlighted):


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 increase rent in an amount that exceeds three percent (3%) per annum of the existing rent amount for any tenant.


(b) Affordable housing with Federal, State or local subsidy or support subject to recorded affordability covenants, any dwelling unit that the tenant is receiving rental assistance, and those who provide affordable housing to low and moderate income households under contract with a governmental agency shall be exempt from the provisions of this Act.


(c) Dwelling units that received a 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.”.


Sec. 13-145. Notices of Rent Adjustments and Rent Payment Plans During the Rent Stabilization Act (Act).


During the one-year period of this Act, a landlord:


(a) Shall inform a tenant in writing to disregard any notice of a rent increase if:

(1) the landlord provided the notice to the tenant prior to the enactment of this Act; and

(2) the effective date of the increase would occur on or after the date that the Act became effective; and


(b) May offer rent payment plans, in writing, to tenants.


Sec.13-146. Information and Enforcement.


(a) Department of Housing and Community and Department (DHCD) and Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) shall provide information about the requirements of the Section on their respective websites, including the date that this Act expires.

(b) DHCD and DPIE shall email and post notice to license holders of the three percent (3%) per annum limit on rent increases for any tenant within fifteen (15) days of enactment of this Act.

(c) DPIE shall exercise the enforcement authority provided pursuant to Section 13-102 of Subtitle 13 and Section 1-123 of Subtitle 1 of this Code:

(1) This enforcement authority shall include the authority to impose fines for violations of the provisions of this subtitle, including:

(i) The authority to impose a penalty in the amount of $500 for the first violation of the provisions of this Act; and

(ii) The authority to impose a penalty in the amount of $1000 for any subsequent violations of the provisions of this Act; and

(iii) Any penalty collected shall be distributed to the general fund.


Sec. 13-147. Expiration and Notice of Expiration.

This Act expires, and has no further force or effect, one-year after the effective date of this Act without further action by the County Council or the County Executive. DPIE and DHCD must post on their respective websites information about the requirements of this Subdivision and the related Sections, including the date that these requirements expire.

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