ROCKVILLE, Md. - Help for renters in Montgomery County is on the way.
After months of negotiations and deliberations, Montgomery County Council passed a new rent stabilization bill Tuesday afternoon.
This comes as the county grapples with soaring rent prices impacting residents who rely on rental housing.
Bill 15-34, also known as "The Anti-Gouging Bill" caps annual rent increases at 3% over inflation or 6% of the base rent – whichever is lesser.
Previously, there were no limits on the amount landlords could raise the rent in the county, allowing them to take advantage of tenants despite rising prices.
Local developers and property owners who are opposed to the idea of capping rent increases say that there are many areas of critical growth that could be jeopardized because of aggressive rent caps.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich called the council's passage of the bill a "win for the over 35% of Montgomery County residents who are renters and for stable communities."
"For tenants and their landlords, there is much-needed certainty and clarity, while still ensuring landlords earn a fair return and make necessary repairs," he said in a statement. "This success is the product of work by so many - the Council, advocates, our housing staff, and community members, and it is the right thing to do. It is a significant step forward to better protect affordable housing options and protect families from being uprooted out of their homes, schools and communities. I want to thank the advocates, activists, and renters of Montgomery County for pushing for this legislation to be passed. I first worked to support rent stabilization more than 30 years ago, and it is heartening to see this legislation enacted, which is so important to people having and keeping their homes. I appreciate the work of the County Council and their staff for their collaborative work on this bill. I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as it arrives on my desk, so it can be enacted without haste and help renters out as soon as possible."