On April 14, Councilmember Will Jawando introduced Expedited Bill 18-20 – Landlord-Tenant Relations – Rent Stabilization During Emergencies (also known as the Covid-19 Renter Relief Act). As an Expedited Bill, it is on a fast track and is tentatively scheduled for a public hearing on April 21, then scheduled for action on April 23.

Bill 18-20 is designed to prohibit a landlord from imposing any rental increases for residential tenants during the catastrophic public emergency declared by the Governor on March 5. 

The Bill provides as follows:

  • Any rent increases scheduled to become effective during the public emergency are prohibited;
  • Notices to tenants of rent increases during the public emergency or within 30 days after the expiration of the emergency are prohibited;
  • Notices to tenants must comply with the provisions for notices set forth in the legislation;
  • Landlords must provide written notice to tenants to disregard any notice of rent increase sent prior to the emergency declaration, if the notice was to become effective during the emergency;
  • The Department of Housing and Community Affairs must post information on its website advising that rent increases during the emergency are prohibited; and
  • The Bill expires and is of no further force or effect on the 121st day following the expiration of the emergency, declared on March 5, as may be revised or extended by the Governor.

The Council staff report can be viewed  here . To comment on the Bill or to testify at the public hearing via written testimony during the shutdown please see the instructions on the County Council webpage at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/PHSignUp.html .