Welcome State Candidates

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Candidate Type: DelegateSenatorAttorney GeneralGovernor

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State Candidate Questionnaire

Question 1: Rent Stabilization

Rents across Montgomery County and other regions are skyrocketing. Landlords in some areas, are seeking annual increases of over 8 percent each year forcing renters to move from their homes. In Montgomery County alone more than 30% of residents live in rental housing. Many are long-term residents, seniors and working families. Do you support state-wide legislation that would stabilize rent increases similar to those programs in Washington D.C., or Takoma Park, MD, by establishing a reasonable annual cap based on the Consumer Price Index, or some other measure?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

a) Annual lease renewals often come with the stipulation that should a renter decide to renew for a short term, either a few months or on a month-to-month basis, their rent increase can be as high as 40%. Would you support a state law which forbids treating short-term lease rent increases from being treated differently from annual lease renewals?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

b) Like renters, businesses are often faced with skyrocketing rents that force good businesses to close their doors, or move elsewhere. In many cases, there are no other businesses to replace those departing commercial space and storefronts leaving them empty for months and, in some cases, years at a time, reducing overall economic activity and stifling community economic development. Do you support commercial rent stabilization, or some form of tax incentives and/or penalties for landlords who either price out businesses or fail to rent out commercial spaces over a reasonable period of time due to excessive rent demands?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 2: Just-Cause Eviction Law

Renters throughout the state of Maryland can be told with as little as 60 days notice that their lease will not be renewed and that they must leave their rental homes. No explanation has to be provided. The result keeps renters in a constant state of uncertainty and in fear of losing their homes, possibly as a result of demanding promised services or maintenance, or organizing tenants or any other reason the landlord may have. Just-cause eviction law requires landlords to automatically renew a lease under substantially the same terms, with the exception of a reasonable and fair rent increase absent just-cause, e.g., failure to pay rent, criminal activity, taking the apartment off the market or other substantial breaches of a lease. Do you support just-cause eviction legislation?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

a) Do you support strengthening Maryland’s anti-retaliation law to remove a cap on damages and arbitrary restrictions on tenants bringing retaliation claims? RPCode:8208.1

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 3: Forced Renters Insurance

Recently, an increasing number of landlords have been demanding that tenants purchase renters insurance and name the landlord as a beneficiary of the liability protection in the event of a suit. Failure to do so, say the renewal notices, will constitute a substantial breach of lease and grounds for eviction. The Renters Alliance encourages renters to purchase renters insurance, but believes that it must be the renter’s choice. Furthermore, we oppose the practice of forcing renters to name the landlord, property managers and building staff as beneficiaries of renter’s insurance policies. Would you support legislation making such practices illegal?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 4: Landlord Status

Are you a landlord? Do you rent out apartments or space in your home to tenants?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 5: Campaign support

Do you accept campaign contributions from real estate, developer or landlord interested groups, associations or individuals.

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

a) If yes, from who and how much have you received from each?

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 6: Renter Education and Advocacy Fund

For decades, well-financed landlord and other interested industry organizations have been able to lobby state and local legislatures, take legal action against tenants and defend against tenants seeking promised services, code-required maintenance and quality living environments. To ensure that tenants have a voice and can reasonably act to secure their homes, would you support the creation of a state fund established by placing a per unit fee on landlords with six units or more to support education, outreach and legal defense through nonprofit advocates and other community organizations?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 7: Personal and Professional Support for Renters Rights

Describe any actions you have personally undertaken in your career to protect tenants’ rights, rent regulation, or the preservation of affordable housing.

Answer (30 word maximum):

Question 8: Tenant Organizing

Do you support the right of tenants to organize in order to address concerns about quality, repair, safety and cost of their rental homes, and promised services?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

If yes, would you support legislation protecting renters’ ability to distribute literature, protect the posting of literature in common areas against premature or unreasonable removal, protect renters’ rights to organize and meet with other tenants independently and/or with the assistance of outside organizers in common areas of rental properties?

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 9: Expanding and Protecting Below Market Rate Rental Housing

What steps would you take to increase the availability of below market rate, affordable rental housing and ensure that there is no loss of existing lower income rental housing, for example due to the building of the Purple Line?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

Question 10: Ending Deceptive Business Practices by Landlords

In some rental communities, landlords promise, deceptively, to make repairs, provide services or building improvements, charge unfair and undeclared fees and other questionable and deceptive business practices.

Do you support expanding the Consumer Protection Act to prohibit all landlord deceptive and unfair practices and provide renters with a legal remedy?

YesNo

Explanation (30 word maximum):

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Your donations go to supporting Renters Alliance services and programs while building a stronger voice for renters.

The Montgomery County Renters Alliance, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible.