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Legislation Sponsored by District 7 Council Member Krystal Oriadha Temporarily Stops Excessive Rent Increases
The Prince George’s Council, during session on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, voted 9-1 to support CB-007-2023, legislation establishing the Rent Stabilization Act of 2023. The measure temporarily amends the Landlord-Tenant Code to limit landlords’ ability to increase rent for tenants above 3% over a 12-month period.
Council Member Oriadha proposed CB-007-2023 to temporarily stop excessive rent increases and help residents stay in their homes. Under the measure, a landlord cannot increase rent above 3% for any tenant and cannot issue a notice of rent increase over 3% during the twelve months of the Rent Stabilization Act. Additionally, CB-7-2023 excludes affordable housing units with federal, state, or local subsidies and dwelling units that received an occupancy permit in the last five years.
Following the public hearing, and just prior to voting, Council Member Oriadha offered impassioned remarks to a standing room only crowd in the Council Hearing Room, confirming her commitment to the people of Prince George’s County.
“I am excited to pass this bill today. This bill is an opportunity for us to say loud and clear that renters matter. For too long the message has been that they don’t. Residents are suffering because of rent increases, and rent stabilization creates stability so renters know that they are not going to wake up and their rent is doubled. We want Prince Georgians to have access to affordable, habitable, and fair housing and this bill gets us to closer to that goal.”
County resident Kia Jefferson, whose rent was raised $800 with 23 days’ notice, urged the Council to support the measure. “My rent was raised $800 with a 23-day notice. I can’t take it anymore. Where are people supposed to go? Where are they supposed to live? We need CB-7 and we need it today. Please show the renters of Prince George’s County that you understand and are working on a solution.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE), will notify license holders of the Landlord-Tenant Code change within 15 days of the measure’s enactment. DHCD and DPIE will also provide additional information related to the requirements, including important dates and deadlines, on their website. DPIE will serve as the enforcement authority, which will include imposing fines for violations. License holders will be fined $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, during a press conference prior to the vote, stated her support for CB-7 and thanked the Council for addressing the needs of distressed renters.
“I want to thank Council Member Oriadha for her leadership and compassion. I want to thank her and the other Council Members for demonstrating a true understanding of what many of our residents suffer each and every day. This legislation is extremely important to all of us. We refuse to let any Prince Georgian be priced out of their home, that’s what this is about.”
New units receiving a use and occupancy permit in the last five years, and affordable housing with Federal, State, or local subsidy units, are exempt from the 3% cap. Additionally, CB-007-2023 excludes affordable housing units with federal, state, or local subsidies and dwelling units that received an occupancy permit in the last five years.
A working group to study permanent rent control in Prince George’s County will be established in tandem with the measure to identify permanent solutions for effectively addressing the rising cost of rent in the County.