Council Bill Requiring Residential Window Guards Passes Unanimously

Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to approve a bill that will require landlords to add window guards to certain multifamily residential dwelling units.

The legislation is designed to enhance housing safety for tenants and families by installing window guards to prevent the risk of children falling.

“No parent should ever have to worry about a child falling from an apartment window. But, tragically, families in our own community have experienced severe injuries or death of a child due to window falls,” Council President Tom Hucker said. “This important legislation will save lives, and I am so proud that it passed with the unanimous support of my colleagues.”

In October 2020, an incident occurred where a two-year-old boy fatally fell from a third-floor apartment building window in Takoma Park.

Hucker became the lead sponsor of the bill when he first introduced it on Dec. 8 , 2020 with Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers Navarro, Rice, Riemer, Katz and Jawando in support as co-sponsors.

Landlords will now be required to provide and maintain window guards of habitable rooms under two circumstances: if a child younger than 11 years of age occupies the dwelling, or if a tenant requests in writing the installation of window guards. They will also be required to add window guard requirements within their leases and are not permitted to charge tenants for the installation or maintenance service.

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About Abby Espiritu

Abby Espiritu is a senior journalism major at the University of Maryland. She is currently an intern at Montgomery Community Media.

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