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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 5, 2024

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 5, 2024Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles introduced Bill 8-24 on Tuesday, which amends Montgomery County’s “ban-the-box” legislation to protect renters from having to disclose their criminal history to a prospective landlord. The bill is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Evan Glass and Sidney Katz.

“As we remain responsive to constituents navigating the challenges with finding rental housing that is in limited supply, I appreciate when residents bring their concerns to our office so we can improve their rental experience without placing undue burdens on landlords,” Councilmember Sayles said. “Similar to the ‘ban the box’ legislation for job applications, landlords cannot conduct criminal and credit background checks during the rental application process. By displaying the law regarding background checks for housing applications in an easily noticeable place, renters will become more aware of their rights.”

The bill would require posting a notice regarding the use of criminal arrest and conviction in rental housing decisions; clarify a certain addendum or statement requirement for rental applications; require a landlord to retain a rental application addendum for a certain period; require a landlord provide to the County as part of the annual rental housing survey a completed criminal and credit screening addendum; require annual reporting of certain disaggregated data related to rental applications; and generally amend the law regarding discrimination in housing and landlord-tenant affairs.

“This bill requires the Office of Human Rights to submit an annual report to the Council by October 1 detailing the number of complaints received and reasons for denying a rental application,” Councilmember Sayles said. “This information will be critical for monitoring and tracking progress on how we are removing barriers for those seeking to rent in our community.”

Read the staff report here for more details on Bill 8-24.

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Release ID: 24-083
Media Contact: Ezra Pine 240-777-7846, Christopher Leacock 240-777-7829
Categories: Laurie-Anne Sayles