What Does Montgomery County’s Rent Freeze Mean for Tenants?

April 30, 2020

On April 24, 2020, the County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland voted unanimously to limit rent increases during the catastrophic health emergency declared by the Governor of Maryland on March 5, 2020 (Coronavirus/Covid-19 state of emergency). However, not all rent increases are prohibited. The follow list answers questions about some of the fine print of the new law.


Does the freeze apply to all rent increases?

No. The rent freeze applies only to those living in Montgomery County. Also, rent may be increased so long as the increase does not exceed existing voluntary rent guidelines. Under the voluntary rent guidelines for 2020, rent may be increased by up to 2.6%.  Therefore, if rent is $1,000, the landlord may legally increase the rent to $1,026, and the increase may take affect during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 state of emergency.

Does the Rent Freeze Last Forever?

No. The limitation on rent increases applies only if the rent increase would take effect during the Coronavirus (Covid-15) state of emergency or within 90 days after the end of the state of emergency. If a landlord provided a notice of rent increase before the state of emergency and the increase exceeds the voluntary rent guidelines (2.6% for 2020), then the landlord must notify the tenant to either disregard the notice of rent increase or that the increase is amended to be less than or equal to the voluntary rent guidelines (2.6% for 2020).


Can notice be sent if an increase beyond 2.6% takes effect after the state of emergency ends?

No.  During the state of emergency, a landlord must not notify a tenant of a rent increase if the increase would exceed the voluntary rent guidelines under Section 29-53.


What to do if a landlord tries to increase rent beyond 2.6% during the state of emergency. Refer the landlord to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs website, whether the prohibition on increases beyond 2.6% is posted. The website is:


This information is to provide general information about the law, not to provide legal advice. THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT BE UP TO DATE. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher or any attorney contributor. The information on this site must not be used as a substitute for HIRING an attorney who can independently verify the law as it applies to your situation.

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