UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — Several seniors in Prince George’s County are frustrated by rent hikes they’re experiencing, despite the county’s council passing a rent cap bill aimed to tackle dramatic increases. Some apartments, however, are not following the new law.
“My rent went up like $300,” said Clyde Hargraves, a longtime tenant at Marwood Senior Apartments in Upper Marlboro.
Many tenants like Hargraves were frustrated after learning their rent was increasing, especially those on a fixed income.
“That was quite a hurdle for me,” said Josephine Swann, another tenant at Marwood Senior Apartments.
“Where are they getting the $300 from? Tell me.” she continued.
In April, the Prince George’s County Council placed a temporary 3% rent cap on how much landlords can increase rent. Councilmember Krystal Oriadha said she’s received several complaints that Marwood Senior Apartments and other apartment complexes are not abiding by the law.
“I was disturbed that there were businesses in the county that were just blatantly disregarding the legislation that we passed,” said Oriadha.
The District 6 councilmember said the apartment complex could face a $500 fine per unit, a process that must be approved by the county’s Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE).
“So that’s what we’re trying to do right now is really push DPIE on enforcement, making sure they’re getting back to people in a timely manner, because people can’t wait six months to hear back,” she said.
The county council established a workgroup to help make rent stabilization permanent and in the meantime, residents say they’re going to keep fighting.
“It is just unbelievable that they do not recognize the uneasiness and the frustration and the dishonesty that this does for us. This is a battle that we will take it as far as it needs to go,” said Hargraves.
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