Elrich: ‘The Rent Is Too Damn High’

Montgomery County leaders plan to extend limitations on rent increases after temporary rent stabilization expired in May. 

“The rent is too damn high,” County Executive Marc Elrich said during a media briefing Wednesday. 

“Unfortunately, I have been hearing … about increases,” said County Councilmember Will Jawando. He shared a story from a Silver Spring resident who faces a 19% rent increase. 

The goal is to approve a six-month extension on limitations on rent increases at a 4.4% voluntary rent guideline (VRG), based on the most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elrich explained. He wants to make sure tenants are not hit too hard with rent increases while also allowing increases for operating costs. 

Jawando was lead sponsor for a bill that extended limitations against rent increases and late fees which has since expired. The county’s previous VRG was set to 0.4% in February, but it expired May 15. Since then, landlords can notify tenants of greater rent increases, but they cannot take effect until 90 days after the notice. The updated bill would delay that three-month timeline, Elrich said.

Elrich has sent an updated bill to the council, Jawando said, and he hopes councilmembers will consider it as soon as they can.

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