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Council President’s Renter Relief Bill Advances to Second Reader After Passing Committee Consideration

Council President’s Renter Relief Bill Advances to Second Reader After Passing Committee Consideration

Legislation That Would Ban Rent Increases and Late Fees During and After the Pandemic Receives Unanimous Support of the Land Use Committee

BALTIMORE, MD (May 6, 2020) — This afternoon, the Baltimore City Council Land Use Committee voted to unanimously advance the Baltimore City COVID-19 Renter Relief Act (Bill 20-0526), which was introduced by Council President Brandon M. Scott at the April 27 City Council meeting. 

This legislation would prohibit landlords from announcing rent increases during a declared state of emergency and within the 90-day period after the state of emergency is lifted. If enacted, the legislation would also prohibit fees for late payment or no payment of rent, as well as all rent increases scheduled to take place during the state of emergency. 

“COVID-19 has had a significantly detrimental impact on our residents, and many Marylanders are still waiting on unemployment or stimulus relief. Our residents shouldn’t be worrying about rent increases or fees during the biggest public health crisis of our lifetime,” said Council President Scott. “During this time of uncertainty, and especially without more action from Congress, we must do what we can to protect residents from further exposure.”

The members of the Land Use Committee favorably passed the legislation, moving it on to second reader to be considered at the Monday, May 11 City Council meeting at 5PM. 

Council President Scott has continued to be an advocate for renter protections during the COVID-19 public health pandemic, introducing a resolution (Bill 20-0208R) on April 6 that called on the State to declare a moratorium on rent increases for the duration of the State of Emergency. He also introduced a resolution during the April 27 City Council meeting (Bill 20-0216R) calling on Congress to create a direct Rental Housing Assistance fund to assist residents, protect landlords, and help stabilize communities.

“Let me be clear, the most important thing right now is the health and welfare of our residents,” continued Scott. “I will continue to do everything in my power to support all Baltimoreans during this uncertain time.”

Members of the public can watch today’s hearing and find an archive of past council hearings and meetings here

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