BALTIMORE — Baltimore City Council members on Monday proposed new legislation, aiming to quell housing evictions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation primarily targets landlords and would set up several obstacles on the way to evicting someone.
First, landlords would be prohibited from evicting tenants when their lease expires, unless they have "just cause".
According to Councilman Antonio Glover, of the 13th District, "just cause" means landlords would have to prove their tenant damaged property, acted disorderly, or committed some other criminal offense in order to justify evicting them.
Second, landlords would be forced to offer would-be tenants more options that would help towards move-in expenses such has security deposits.
Third, tenants would enjoy extended grace periods before landlords could tack on late fees to past-due rent bills.
On top of that, before any action could be taken against a tenant, landlords would have to verify if those on public assistance actually received their benefits before requiring them to pay rent.
Finally, the new legislation would allow people to make payments on their annual real property taxes and outstanding liens, to avoid the property tax sales process.
The legislation will be officially introduced at the Council’s January meetings.