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Proposed Measure Protects Tenants from Unlawful and Retaliatory Rent Increases and Eviction as Rent Stabilization Act of 2023 Takes Effect
The Prince George’s County Council, during session on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, unanimously enacted CB-051-2023 Emergency Legislation addressing Landlord Retaliation for Rent Stabilization. The measure declares certain actions by landlords as retaliation, including the termination of a lease to force a pre-existing tenant into a new lease, to avoid rent increase limitations established by the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023, which took effect April 17, 2023.
Council Member Krystal Oriadha, author of CB-051-2023 and the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023, reaffirming her commitment to residents, thanked them for their support.
“We passed Rent Stabilization to stop the bleeding and the hurting we were seeing in the community, and I am disappointed that there were some bad actors that still wanted to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable communities” adding, “This legislation is one that will stop landlords from being able to retaliate for tenants just asking for the law to be enforced, and ensure they don’t find a loophole, or unilaterally deciding they are exempt. I am angry that we are here in this situation and need legislation like this. I am angry that people in positions of authority and power and ability to show compassion are not. I wish that I could do more, but I will do everything in my power legislatively and legally to stand behind you because you are worth it.”
CB-051-2023 prevents landlords from increasing rents over 3% for existing tenants (those with a valid lease prior to April 17th), including landlords of senior housing properties subject to the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023. The measure also requires any property owner who believes they are exempt from CB-07-2023 to apply for the exemption through the Department of Housing and Community Development. All property owners must abide by the 3% cap until the exemption is approved by the DHCH. CB-051-2023 also prohibits the harassment, intimidation, and/or threat of tenants’ exercise of their legal rights.
Laurel resident Ellen Lyons urged the Council to approve the much-needed measure.
“I am here just to beg you, please, we need this bill passed as soon as yesterday. I am a senior citizen, and I really cannot sleep at night because of the hike in rent. Who is here to help us? We don’t need to be worried and stressed out about the concern of a roof over our head. We have lived this life, and not only that, we are trying to pave the way for you all, because you all are going to be old one day. Look now so you can prepare the way for later.”
Delores Pridelau was among several senior residents of The Lodge at Marlton testifying in support of the measure. "We are not asking for a handout; we simply came for a hand up. After the passing of CB 7-23 residents were met with opposition and intimidations. We have come to ask that you sign and support this bill.”
The County Council voted on February 28th to support CB-007-2023, establishing the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023. The measure, which became law on April 17, 2023, temporarily amends the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit landlords’ ability to increase rent for tenants above 3% over a 12-month period. Under the legislation, a landlord cannot increase rent above 3% for any tenant and cannot issue a notice of rent increase over 3% during the twelve months of the Rent Stabilization Act.