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2024 Legislative Recap: Housing & Consumer

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned for the year on April 8th, passing several housing-related bills. Below is a selected list of housing and consumer bills that lawmakers passed during their 90-day session.  

Consumer  

HB622 – Prohibits a consumer reporting agency from including in a consumer report any record of a criminal proceeding in which the consumer was falsely accused, acquitted, or exonerated; in which a nolle prosequi was entered as to a charge concerning the consumer; or that did not result in a guilty verdict for the consumer (signed by Gov. Moore 5/9, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

SB760 – Gift Card Scams Prevention Act; establishes rules and procedures merchants must follow when selling gift cards in the State; requires a merchant that conducts online sales of gift cards to consumers in the State to register with the Office of the Attorney General as an online seller of gift cards (signed by Gov. Moore 5/9, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

Housing  

HB7/SB203 – Creates Housing Innovation Pilot Program; allows low or no-interest loans for local housing authorities (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect July 1, 2024) 

HB16 Requires the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to maintain a website that any person may use to donate to the Homeowner Protection Program; requires local tax collectors to include a separate insert with property tax bills that encourages taxpayers to donate to HPP through the website (takes effect July 1, 2024) 

HB93/SB162 – Limits a tenant’s liability for rent to no more than 2 months after the date on which the tenant vacates a leased premises if a physician, counselor, therapist, or psychologist completes a form specifying the tenant has an intellectual or developmental disability or mental disorder (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

HB139/SB171 – Requires landlords to accept financial assistance from federal Office of Home Energy Programs for utility costs a tenant is required to pay (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

HB154– Authorizes the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to accept applications for the homeowners’ property tax credit submitted by a homeowner within three years after April 15 of the taxable year for which the credit is sought if the homeowner is enrolled in the Homeowner Protection Program (takes effect June 1, 2024) 

HB287/SB342 – Excludes the cash value of any qualified retirement savings plan or individual retirement accounts in the definition of assets for purposes of the Renters’ Property Tax Relief Program (takes effect June 1, 2024) 

HB693 – Renter’s Rights & Stabilization Act; establishes the Office of Tenants’ Rights; extends the period between granting judgment for possession in favor of a landlord and the execution of the warrant of restitution; establishes a tenant’s right of first refusal when the title to certain residential rental property is transferred; increases a certain surcharge assessed for summary ejectment, tenant holding over, and specified breach of lease cases to a maximum of $93 per case (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

HB1117 – Generally establishes a landlord is deemed to warrant the rental dwelling fit for human habitation; establishes remedies if a landlord breaches the warranty of habitability; establishes additional remedies if a landlord fails to repair serious and dangerous defects (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect October 1, 2024) 

SB19 – Requires the District Court, within 60 days after the final resolution of a failure to pay rent proceeding that did not result in a judgment of possession, to shield all related court records; prohibits with limited exceptions, a landlord from increasing rent solely because a judgment was entered against a tenant in a failure to pay rent action (signed by Gov. Moore 4/25, takes effect August 1, 2024) 

SB283 – Authorizes applicants for the homeowner property tax credits to attest to gross income on an application in lieu of providing an income tax return to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation under certain circumstances (Gov. Moore signed 4/9, takes effect June 1, 2024)