Montgomery Co. renters may soon have power to end leases over rodents and mold

Renters in Montgomery County, Maryland’s largest county, may soon have more control when it comes to terminating a lease if a landlord fails to provide safe living conditions.

Bill 6-19, also known as the Landlord-Tenant Relations Termination of Lease legislation, says landlords who fail to fix health and safety violations like rodents or mold after receiving 30 days of notice could see tenants terminate their leases.

Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker sponsored the bill, which passed the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee unanimously on Monday.

Hucker says the goal is to give tenants the power to protect themselves without incurring lease termination costs.

“They sometimes have to stay in their apartments with mold or without working smoke detectors,” said Hucker.

On Tuesday, a Montgomery County court is scheduled to hear a case brought by the county against The Enclave Apartments in White Oak alleging 83 housing code violations that went unresolved, an ongoing issue that prompted the legislation.

“It’s going to make landlords step up and remediate a lot of these violations in the future.,” added Hucker. “Nobody in Montgomery County should have to raise their kids in an unsafe environment.”

The bill will now go to the Montgomery County Council for approval.

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