Action Alert: Support Tenant Protections in Rent Court Today!

There are two bills that will be heard in Annapolis by the Environment and Transportation Committee on March 7 at 1:00 PM, that would introduce additional protection for tenants. These bills are important to creating an equitable legal playing field for tenants in rent court: HB1346, introduced by Delegate Lafferty (D-District 42A) defines “rent” as Read more about Action Alert: Support Tenant Protections in Rent Court Today![…]

Protecting the Rights of Tenants: HB 1059 and HB 1060: SUPPORT

For good tenants, sometimes getting your security deposit back at the end of a lease is the worst part about being a renter. Sometimes tenants never get their security deposit back, and many people have no idea this is governed by Maryland law. Maryland House Bill 1059 and House Bill 1060 would require language to Read more about Protecting the Rights of Tenants: HB 1059 and HB 1060: SUPPORT[…]

SB0182 – Public Safety – Rental Dwelling Units – Carbon Monoxide Alarms: SUPPORT

Carbon monoxide kills far too many people each year, usually as a result of alternate heat sources by people who cannot afford to adequately heat their homes in the winter. SB0182 would mandate that all rental properties in Maryland have carbon monoxide alarms installed. You can read the text of SB0182 here. (Link opens a Read more about SB0182 – Public Safety – Rental Dwelling Units – Carbon Monoxide Alarms: SUPPORT[…]

2016 Housing Legislation

Today was the start of the 2016 legislative session, and so far there have been a few housing bills introduced: SB0024: Discrimination in Housing – Military Status Summary: Establishing that it is the policy of the State to provide for fair housing to all, regardless of military status; prohibiting specified discriminatory acts relating to the Read more about 2016 Housing Legislation[…]

Monthly Update

This is a new feature I’ve decided to add, in order to keep donors and other interested folks in the loop, with regard to what I’ve been working on. I hope you find it useful! Keep in mind, these lists are highlights, and won’t include everything I’ve worked on during the month. January 2015 Highlights Read more about Monthly Update[…]

Action Needed: Urge Your State Elected Officials to Support HB0351

Bill Information: Requiring a limited liability company to have a company representative; requiring the articles of organization, articles of cancellation, and articles of reinstatement of a limited liability company to include the name and street address of the company representative; applying to a company representative specified provisions of law relating to a change of a Read more about Action Needed: Urge Your State Elected Officials to Support HB0351[…]

Action Needed: Urge Your Legislators to Support HB0186, Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act

Bill Information: Establishing the Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act; authorizing an individual to transfer specified property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor’s death by a transfer-on-death deed; establishing that a transfer-on-death deed is revocable and nontestamentary; providing that the capacity required to make or revoke a transfer-on-death deed is the Read more about Action Needed: Urge Your Legislators to Support HB0186, Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act[…]

Action Needed: Urge Your State Legislators to Support SB0197

Bill Information: This bill would authorize a municipality to establish a Vacant and Blighted Buildings Registry and to require an owner of a vacant building to register it within 30 days after the building becomes vacant under specified circumstances. It would also require a municipality to consider specified factors in determining whether a building is Read more about Action Needed: Urge Your State Legislators to Support SB0197[…]

Thinking About 2015

It’s never too early to start thinking about legislative priorities for 2015.  We have a few issues that we’ll be working on, just in time for the start of Maryland’s legislative session in January, and we want to hear your priorities, too: LLC transparency Transfer of real estate Historic preservation Affordable housing, based on local Read more about Thinking About 2015[…]

Support HB1143 / SB799 and Prevent Landlord Retaliation

Bill Information: Sponsored by Delegates Frush, Braveboy, Bobo, Fraser-Hidalgo, Glenn, and Hucker, HB1143  and SB799 (sponsored by Senators Ramirez, Forehand, and Manno) would prevent a landlord from refusing to renew a tenant’s lease if the tenant complained about unsafe conditions in the home. Why This Bill is Important:  Tenants have a right to live in Read more about Support HB1143 / SB799 and Prevent Landlord Retaliation[…]

Support HB0658 for Better Transparency in Maryland

Bill Information: Sponsored by Delegates Carter, Glass, Hough, Parrott, and Smigel, this bill would establish the State Information Act Compliance Board and require that the board would take action on a complaint within a specific period of time. Why This Bill is Important:  If you’ve ever filed an information request with the State of Maryland, Read more about Support HB0658 for Better Transparency in Maryland[…]

Why HB0268 Was Needed

Today’s fatal fire at 447 N Lakewood Avenue is a tragic example of why the LLC transparency bill, introduced in the Maryland Legislature by Delegate Stephen Lafferty was so necessary.  Yet it was shot down by delegates who perhaps put more importance on hiding the owners of LLCs than on their taxpaying constituents. (Link opens Read more about Why HB0268 Was Needed[…]

Link Roundup

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently issued a report on investor activity in Atlanta.  Not surprisingly, the study found that investors were buying up property in neighborhoods where poverty and vacancy rates were high, and median home values were low. A group of Montgomery County legislators have introduced a bill that Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Another Tool to Fight Against Blight

From the Community Law Center: Owners of abandoned properties in Baltimore City should start bringing their properties up to code, or the local community association might sue them to do just that. Today, the revised law known as the Community Bill of Rights, goes into effect. This amended legislation makes it easier for community organizations Read more about Another Tool to Fight Against Blight[…]

Link Roundup

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee understands the need to stabilize his city’s middle class through housing. The Cleveland Fed says we need to change housing finance at the policy level, in order to slow speculative real estate transactions — hey Cleveland, we agree! Delegate Maggie McIntosh (D, District 43) says we shouldn’t reward landlords who Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Support House Bill 977

Bill Information:  House Bill 977 would require that an activity that disturbs more than 3 square feet of painted surface in a specified building, the property owner would have to pass a test for lead-contaminated dust. It also authorizes MDE to administer a renovation, repair, and painting program consistent with federal regulations. In addition, MDE Read more about Support House Bill 977[…]

Support House Bill 1247

Bill Information:  House Bill 1247 would require specified stores to charge a 5-cent fee on plastic carryout bags Why This Is Important:  Many states and municipalities have either outright banned the use of plastic bags, or currently charge a fee for each bag a customer uses.  This can result in less litter, a cleaner Chesapeake Read more about Support House Bill 1247[…]

Support House Bill 472/Senate Bill 873

Bill Information:  House Bill 472/Senate Bill 873 would establish a Lead Poisoning Compensation Fund, which would require Maryland rental property owners to pay into the fund.  The fees could range from $50 to $500 per unit.  The Fund would be required to cover property owners for claims arising from lead paint lawsuits. Why This Is Read more about Support House Bill 472/Senate Bill 873[…]

Support Senate Bill 753

Bill Information:  Senate Bill 753 would require the owner of blighted vacant property to submit a remediation plan to the local government, complete the work within a specified timeframe, or list the property with a licensed real estate agent for a price not to exceed a specified amount.  This bill would also prohibit the owner Read more about Support Senate Bill 753[…]