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Baltimore leaders introduce bill to give renters relief

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 18:38:11-05

BALTIMORE — People living in unsafe housing in parts of Baltimore could finally get some relief.

Councilman Zeke Cohen introduced the "Strengthening Renters' Safety Act' on Monday.

The bill cracks down on specific buildings with repeated code violations, such as mold, sparking outlets, and roaches and rats.

Many unlicensed land lords rent buildings while keeping tenants in the dark about the problems.

When tenants try to report them and get assistance, the land lords's lack of a license makes the whole operation illegal, so no help comes. This put tenants in a dangerous catch 22.

"In the buildings I work in I've seen tenants get sick and even die because they were unaware of what they were moving into and couldn't do anything about them. I want to repeat that I have seen tenants die because of these conditions," said Indigo Hull of Baltimore Renters United.

The bill's main target is three large housing complexes in Reservoir Hill, with a history of poor conditions.

It also allows tenants to anonymously request their apartment be included in increased inspections.