As a follow-up to our recent alerts, the Prince George’s County Council in Maryland held a public hearing Tuesday, April 25, and approved CB-51-2023, An Emergency Act Concerning Landlord Retaliation for Rent Stabilization (the Supplemental Act). The Supplemental Act seeks to clarify the scope of the recently enacted Rent Stabilization Act and to prohibit certain retaliatory landlord actions.
- The Supplemental Act clarifies that the 3-percent per annum cap on rent increases imposed by the Rent Stabilization Act applies only to “pre-existing tenants”; defined as any tenant under a valid lease at the landlord’s property prior to April 17, 2023. This is consistent with the interpretation set forth in the Frequently Asked Questions summary published by the County’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
- In addition, the Supplemental Act prohibits landlords from terminating a lease or engaging in any harassment because a tenant sought to enforce the Rent Stabilization Act.
- While the Rent Stabilization Act intended to exempt affordable housing with federal, state, or local subsidies or support, the Supplemental Act stops short of providing guidance as to the means of determining if a property is exempt. The Supplemental Act authorizes DHCD to determine whether an exemption applies to any dwelling unit. Until an exemption determination is made, landlords are prohibited from increasing rents by more than 3 percent. At this time it remains unclear as to how and when these determinations will be made.
- The Supplemental Act also states that the Rent Stabilization Act applies to senior housing properties, unless pre-empted by federal law.
Please contact us at CondoMultifamilyTeam@ballardspahr.com if you have any questions.
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