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Resources for Renters and Homeowners

Recently, the Prince George’s County Council enacted CB-16-2020 and amended the Prince George’s County Landlord-Tenant Code to prohibit rent increases and rental terminations; provide payment plans with certain tenants; and prohibit late fees or penalties from being charged during the COVID-19 statewide emergency and within 90 days after the expiration of an emergency.

Outlined below are the substantive provisions of the new regulations:

Tenants with substantial loss of income —  for County law, this means tenants who can demonstrate proof through documentation or other objectively verifiable means, that the tenant suffered a Substantial Loss of Income and are therefore unable to make rent payments because of the emergency, as defined by the Governor of the State of Maryland’s Executive Order Number 20-04-03-01.
During the COVID-19 health emergency as declared by the Governor of the Maryland, a landlord may not increase the rent for a tenant with a substantial loss of income if the rent increase would take effect during the health emergency and within 90 days after expiration of the emergency.
Additionally, landlords may not impose late fees or penalties for any tenant. Landlords shall not issue notices of rent increase, late fees or penalties that apply to payments required during the emergency and within 90 days after expiration of the emergency.

Landlords must inform a tenant with a substantial loss of income in writing to disregard any notice of a rent increase if: (1) the landlord provided the notice to the tenant prior to the emergency; and (2) if the effective date of the increase would occur on or after the date the emergency began.Landlords may offer a written rent payment plan to a tenant with a substantial loss of income. Additionally, landlords are prohibited from evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent for any eviction proceedings not initiated before the COVID-19 emergency. This prohibition is effective for the duration of the emergency.

Moreover, any new complaints filed against tenants for failure to pay rent shall be prohibited during the duration of the emergency. This new provision regarding evictions applies from the date of the Governor of the State of Maryland’s Executive Order Number 20-04-03-01 on April 3, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

References and more information:
Additional Resources:
Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) – rental assistance, eviction and foreclosure assistance, household finances assistance: https://hiphomes.org/covid-19-resources-for-maryland-residents/
Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County – free legal representation if you are facing eviction or foreclosure: https://www.clspgc.org/
CASA – rental/landlord issues and legal services: https://wearecasa.org/
United Communities Against Povertyhttps://www.ucappgc.org/

[Source: County Councilwoman Danielle Glaros]

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