Montgomery County could pass new bill to protect tenants

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Tenants would be able to break lease if property is not maintained

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Council is seeking to improve living conditions for residents with a bill designed to protect tenants.

Nicky and other residents who live in the Enclave apartment buildings are dealing with “a lot of mice and mold,” she said, which is making it difficult for her to provide safe living conditions for her family.

“The mice keeps coming across the floor, and I just can’t take it anymore,” Nicky said.

“A lot of people were facing vermin, facing mold and facing unsafe conditions,” Tom Hucker said, Montgomery County Councilmember.

The county housing department inspected Enclave, and found 2,500 violations. The county is suing the owners, but meanwhile, tenants are suffering from asthma and respiratory problems after living with mold for a long period of time.

“I’m planning to move on in September, because I’m just done with the situation,” Nicky said.

The council is working to pass a bill that will protect tenants from being stuck in uncomfortable living situations. “It allows tenants to break their lease if they’re facing health or safety violations that the landlord refuses to address,” Hucker said.

If the bill passes, landlords have 30 days to fix violations. If they fail to do so, tenants could terminate their leases. The bill was passed through committee unanimously.

The bill will go to the full council on Tuesday. If passed, the bill should go into effect in 60 days.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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