A group of approximately two dozen housing providers across Maryland are challenging laws intended to protect tenants from rent increases during the coronavirus pandemic.
Together the companies owns over 2,000 residential rental units in Baltimore City, Howard County, and Salisbury. They are suing their local governments regarding enacted laws that bar landlords from raising the rent or charging late fees during the state of emergency.
Both sides have since engaged in “preliminary settlement discussions,” court documents state. Additional filings are expected this month.
Meanwhile, several Maryland jurisdictions have launched rental assistance programs.
Baltimore, for example, set aside about $13 million for such a fund. The one-time emergency aid will be paid directly to landlords. The property owners must agree to waive any late fees and accept from the city as full payment 80% of the rent due for April, May and June.