Baltimore City Council Bill 21-0031
Baltimore City Council has put property investors in the cross hairs again with this bill that is now before council for voting on June 8.
Except for "good cause", a landlord must send written notice to every tenant, at least 75 days and not more than 100 days before the lease renews, offer to renew the lease. The lease may contain a non-retaliatory rent increase.
If the tenant has "substantially breached" the lease and not cured the breach within 45 days of written notice from the landlord the landlord may decline to renew the lease. However, failture to pay rent is specifically cited in this new proposed legislation as not being a "substantial breach". Therefore, even if your tenant fails to pay rent, you must still offer the tenant a lease renewal.
You may decline to offer the tenant a lease renewal only if:
- you plan to use the property as a primary residence for yourself, your spouse, child, parent or grandparent
- if you permanently remove the property from the rental market
- if you seek permits to do a substantial renovation of the property
A landlord failing to comply with this law could face fines up to $1000.
The law would take effect as soon as it is signed by the Mayor.
The Baltimore City Law Department has advised the Council and the Housing Committee that this law violates the Maryland State Constitution. In passing this Bill out of Committee, the Committee has chosen to go against the advice and counsel of the Baltimore City Law Department.
Property owners can voice their opinions on Council Bill 21-0031 by contacting City Council President Nick J Mosby at 410-396-4804, or call the City Council member representing the area in which you own property by calling the Baltimore City Operator at 410-396-3100 or click here to visit the Baltimore City Council website.
It is my opinion that if Baltimore City Council passes this legislation we could see a large number of investors pulling out of owning rental properties in Baltimore City thus increasing the homeless numbers and adding incredible stress to lower income families as housing opportunities within the City of Baltimore shrink. Who thought this was a good idea? Whoever it was didn't think far enough down the road to see the effects it would have on those that cannot afford to purchase a home or those that have no desire to own a home. I encourage each and every investor to make a call and put a stop to this Bill.