Montgomery County puts a cap on rent increases during pandemic

If you’re a residential renter in Montgomery County, Maryland, there are new limits on how much your landlord can increase your rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council has enacted the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, which applies to renters with leases up for renewal.

It means your landlord cannot increase your rent by more than 2.6% during Maryland’s coronavirus-related state of emergency or during the 180 days after the emergency ends.

Landlords who have already notified tenants of larger planned rate hikes will have to change or cancel their plans.

“This bill is an important step in helping our Montgomery County residents during this difficult time,” said Council member Will Jawando, the law’s lead sponsor.

The act was unanimously approved by council Thursday after it was amended.

“We have yet to know the full damage that will occur as a result of COVID-19 or what the actual recovery will be like for those who have lost jobs and their income. Our residents deserve the stability of knowing that their housing is protected. Today the Council has sent a strong message that our renters cannot be taken advantage of during this health crisis,” Jawando said.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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