Baltimore City Council
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File #: 20-0526    Version: 0 Name: Baltimore City COVID-19 Renter Relief Act
Type: Ordinance Status: Enacted
File created: 4/27/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: Final action: 5/18/2020
Enactment #: 20-364
Title: Baltimore City COVID-19 Renter Relief Act For the purpose of prohibiting the increase of rent during and after certain declared emergencies; prohibiting certain notices to tenants; requiring certain notices to tenants; prohibiting certain late fees; defining certain terms; providing for a date of termination of the prohibitions; providing for a special effective date; and generally relating to protecting Baltimore City tenants.
Sponsors: President Brandon M. Scott, Bill Henry, Zeke Cohen, Ryan Dorsey, Kristerfer Burnett, Leon F. Pinkett, III, John T. Bullock, Mary Pat Clarke, Sharon Green Middleton, Edward Reisinger, Eric T. Costello, Shannon Sneed, Robert Stokes, Sr., Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer
Indexes: Baltimore City, COVID-19, Rental
Attachments: 1. 20-0526~1st Reader, 2. Finance 20-0526, 3. HCD 20-0526, 4. Law 20-0526, 5. HABC 20-0526, 6. Bill Synopsis 20-0526, 7. Hearing Agenda 20-0526, 8. Hearing Minutes 20-0526, 9. Hearing Notes 20-0526, 10. 20-0526~3rd Reader, 11. Signed Ordinance 20-0526, 12. 2nd Reader Amendments Floor Amendment 1 20-0526, 13. 2nd Reader Committee Amendment 20-0526, 14. 2nd Reader Floor Amendment 2 20-0526
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
6/15/20200 Mayor Signed by Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/11/20200 Land Use Committee Recommended Favorably with Amendment  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/11/20200 City Council Advanced to 3rd Reader on same day  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/11/20200 City Council Approved and Sent to the Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/6/20200 Land Use Committee Recommended Favorably with AmendmentPass Action details Meeting details Not available
4/30/20200 City Council President Refer to Dept. of Finance  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/30/20200 City Council President Refer to City Solicitor  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/30/20200 City Council President Refer to Dept. of Housing and Community Development  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/30/20200 City Council President Refer to Housing Authority of Baltimore City  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/20200 City Council Assigned  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/20200 City Council Introduced  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/27/20200 Land Use Committee Scheduled for a Public Hearing  Action details Meeting details Not available

                     Introductory*

 

                     City of Baltimore

                     Council Bill          

                                                                                                                                                           

Introduced by: President Scott                                                                                                          

                     

                     A Bill Entitled

 

An Ordinance concerning

title

Baltimore City COVID-19 Renter Relief Act

For the purpose of prohibiting the increase of rent during and after certain declared emergencies; prohibiting certain notices to tenants; requiring certain notices to tenants; prohibiting certain late fees; defining certain terms; providing for a date of termination of the prohibitions; providing for a special effective date; and generally relating to protecting Baltimore City tenants.

body

 

By adding

Article 13 - Housing and Urban Renewal

Section(s) 8-4

Baltimore City Code

(Edition 2000)

 

By renumbering current

Article 13 - Housing and Urban Renewal

Sections 8-4 and 8-5, respectively, to 8-5 and 8-6, respectively

Baltimore City Code

(Edition 2000)

 

Section 1.  Be it ordained by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, That the Laws of Baltimore City read as follows:

 

                     Baltimore City Code

 

                     Article 13.  Housing and Urban Renewal

 

                     Subtitle 8.  Rent Increases

 

§ 8-4.  Rent increases barred - during states of emergency.

 

(a) “Emergency” defined.

 

In this section, “emergency” means the catastrophic health emergency declared by the Governor of Maryland on March 5, 2020, as amended or extended by the Governor, under State Public Safety Article, _ 14-3A-02.

 

(b)  Scope.

 

This section only applies to rental fee increases on existing tenants. Nothing in this section may be construed as applying to leases for new tenants.

 

(c)  In general.

 

A landlord may not increase a tenant’s rental fee if:

 

(1)  the increase would take effect during an emergency; or

 

(2)  notice of the increase is not in compliance with subsection (d) of this section.

 

(d)  Notice of rent adjustment.

 

(1)  In general.

 

During an emergency and within 90 days after the expiration of an emergency, a landlord may not notify a tenant of a rental fee increase.

 

(2)  Pre-emergency rent increase notices.

 

A landlord must inform a tenant in writing to disregard any notice of a rental fee increase if:

 

(i)  the landlord provided the notice to the tenant prior to an emergency; and

 

(ii)  the effective date of the increase would occur on or after the date the emergency began. 

 

(e)  Late fees prohibited.

 

A landlord may not charge or otherwise assess a tenant for nonpayment or late payment of a rental fee during an emergency or within 90 days after the expiration of an emergency.

 

(f)  City to post notice.

 

The Department of Housing and Community Development must post on its website information regarding the requirements of this section, including the date that an emergency expires and the date that is 90 days after the expiration of the emergency.

 

§ 8-5.  [§ 8-4.]  Landlord’s right of review.

 

The provisions of this subtitle do not limit a landlord’s right, under the applicable provisions of the City Building, Fire, and Related Codes Article, to an administrative review of a violation notice.

 

 

§ 8-6.  [§ 8-5.]  Enforcement by tenant.

 

A tenant may seek relief from an appropriate court to restrain or enjoin any violation of the provisions of this law.

 

Section 2.  And be it further ordained, That the catchlines contained in this Ordinance are not law and may not be considered to have been enacted as a part of this or any prior Ordinance.

 

Section 3.  And be it further ordained, That this Ordinance takes effect on the date it is enacted.  It will remain effective through the 121st day following the expiration of the catastrophic health emergency declared by the Governor on March 5, 2020, as amended or extended by the Governor; and, immediately after that date, with no further action by the Mayor and City Council, this Ordinance will be abrogated and of no further effect.