Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

Councilmember Will Jawando to hold press availability on COVID-19 Renter Relief Act

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 14, 2020

WHAT: Press Availability
WHO: Councilmember Will Jawando
WHEN: Tuesday, April 14 at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Zoom invite furnished upon confirmation of participation. To confirm participation, call Cecily Thorne at 240-777-7972.

Councilmember Will Jawando will share information on Expedited Bill 18-20, Landlord-Tenant Relations - Rent Stabilization During Emergencies, also known as the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, of which he is the lead sponsor. Expedited Bill 18-20, which will be introduced at the Council’s April 14 meeting, prohibits the increase of residential rent during and after certain declared states of emergency. Small businesses and nonprofit rents are also subject to this protection during the COVID-19 emergency.

During an emergency, under this legislation, a landlord is prohibited from raising a tenant’s rent. If a previously-announced rent increase would take place during the emergency, then the landlord would be required to instruct the tenant to disregard that notice. The bill would prohibit a landlord from notifying the tenant of a rent increase during the emergency, or within 30 days after the emergency expires.

The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Affairs to post pertinent information on its website regarding the prohibition against rent increases during emergencies. The website must include information about each emergency, including its expiration date and the date that occurs 30 days after the expiration.

The goal of this legislation is to prevent landlords from increasing a tenant’s rent during an emergency that may impact the ability of tenants to pay that increase. Further, the bill prohibits notices of rent increases during, and within a certain time period after an emergency. Council President Sidney Katz and Councilmembers Craig Rice and Nancy Navarro are cosponsors. The Council will hold a public hearing and vote on Expedited Bill 18-20 on April 21 at 1:30 p.m. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#NoRentIncreases and #RentStability are being used for this bill on social media.

# # #

Release ID: 20-151
Media Contact: Cecily Thorne 240-777-7972