Legal Alert

New Multifamily Update

by Roger D. Winston, Katherine M. Noonan, and Shanice McClelland
June 12, 2023

Montgomery County – Rent Control Public Hearing

As noted in our prior alert, two different rent control bills are pending in Montgomery County, MD. The HOME Act (16-23) would limit rent increases to the lesser of 3% or the Voluntary Rent Guidelines published annually by the County. The Anti-Rent Gouging Protections legislation (15-23) would cap rent increases at the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) plus 8%. We understand that several councilmembers want to lower this proposed rent cap. Both bills include exemptions for certain affordable units and new construction. The County Council’s Planning, Housing & Parks Committee will hold public hearings on both bills beginning at 1:30 pm on Thursday, June 15, 2023. Stakeholders are encouraged to make their voices heard by using one of the participation options set forth in this link.

DC Lowers Permitted Rent Increases Under Rent Control

Last week, the DC Council approved the Rent Stabilized Housing Inflation Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 (the Act), which caps annual rent increases for rent-stabilized units to the lesser of 6% or the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) plus 2%, provided further that the two-year cumulative increase cannot exceed 12%. Increases for seniors and persons with disabilities are limited to the lesser of (a) 4%, (b) the CPI-W, or (c) the most recent cost-of-living adjustment of benefits for social security recipients, with a two-year cumulative increase not to exceed 8%. This emergency legislation applies only to rental properties that are already subject to rent control under DC law. Properties constructed after 1976 are excluded. Rent control has been in place in the District since the mid-1980’s, and it has historically limited annual increases to the CPI-W plus 2%, not to exceed 10%, as approved by the District’s Rental Housing Commission. The Act is pending signature from the Mayor, and once signed, it will apply to rent adjustments taking effect from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025.

Colorado Governor Vetoes ROFR Bill

The Colorado General Assembly recently passed House Bill 23-1190, “Affordable Housing Right of First Refusal”, which resembles the right of first refusal statutes in Maryland counties. Bill 23-1190 would have applied statewide. Colorado Governor Jared Polis vetoed the bill last week, citing title and financing issues that could result in increased costs to tenants.

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