Rent spikes could hit Montgomery County residents as cap bill stalls

Prices could soon soar higher for some renters in Montgomery County, Maryland, now that a bill on a rent-increase cap has stalled.

The county measure would have kept landlords from raising rents more than 4.4% for another six months.

“My husband and I received a notice of a 10% increase for our town house,” said Rockville resident and Montgomery County director for Jews United for Justice Laura Wallace, who spoke in support of the cap during a public comment session before county council members on Tuesday.

“Our landlord made it clear that if he put the town house back out, he could get an 18% increase.” Wallace said.

Property manager Sid Menkis, though, told council members that landlords are dealing with higher expenses.

“Their property taxes went up, homeowners and condominium fees went up, property insurance, repair costs, costs of replacing appliances,” Menkis said.

“It’s also untenable to single out housing providers as the sole industry to regulate price increases during this inflationary period,” said Dean Hunter, CEO of the Small Multifamily and Rental Owners Association.

“I know the road to a solution of the affordable housing issue is complicated, but if the government cannot help people meet [their] most essential needs, than what is the point of the government?” said Ashton resident Kimberly Johnson.

In the end, the council took the vote off the agenda Tuesday, meaning a vote on it would not happen now until September.

Montgomery County’s previous temporary rent increase ceiling of 0.4% expired May 15, but tenants must be given three months’ notice for a rent increase.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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