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    Rent Transparency Bill Needs your Support

    2/19/18 9:48 PM Brian Wojcik Legislative Topics, Maryland Rental Property Owners, Affordable Housing, Baltimore City

    Landlords, we have an opportunity to demonstrate support for an important legislative bill that impacts all of us.

    Tenant advocates are showing up in droves to oppose Senate Bill 493. We need your support to ensure this bill passes!

    Many of us landlords have experienced losses as a result of the Felicia Locket vs. Blue Ocean Case. Because of that case, most judges are not allowing utilities to be included in Rent Court cases.  Because "rent" has not been defined by the legislature,  landlords who request that utilities be included, such as unpaid water bills,   are subject to each judge's interpretation of the case.

    Why do we need Senate Bill 493 to pass?

    • to create consistency and clarity statewide among District Court Judges; and
    • to allow the terms of a lease, as signed by both the Landlord and Tenant ,be enforced; and
    • to allow for unpaid utilities to be included in Rent Court filings.

    What does Senate Bill 493 do? 

    • Provides transparency and clarifies the definition of "rent"; and
    • Requires property owners  to use a written lease that  must define utilities to be collected; and
    • Creates consistency in Rent Court, allowing the court to refer to the lease agreement for identification of the  agreed upon terms.

    Ways to Get Involved and Show Support:

    We're discouraging the use of a form letter or petition for this bill. Response to this proposed bill needs to be more personal and individual:

    • Email your Representative:
      Use the Elected Official Finder Tool: Simply enter your address and zipcode to quickly send a message from the dialogue box that opens. Use the talking points from this blog to create an effective response.
    • Call your Senator or Representative:
      Find your representative's contact information and give them a call. Someone will take a message. Tell them you support this bill.
    • Forward this to a friend:
      Ask them to support you and your effort.
    • Leave a note below in the comments:
      Let everyone one know that you've contacted your elected officials.

    As a member of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) Legislative Committee, we are tracking 170 bills that affect landlords. Thanks is owed to the MMHA as it works tirelessly everyday and spends enourmous resources to advocate for the rental housing industry.

    If you have any questions about what this proposed legislative means for you as a landlord, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

    Brian Wojcik

    Written by Brian Wojcik