MD Assembly Passes Mid Point
After a slow start, the Maryland General Assembly has accelerated through the mid point of its 90 day session. AOBA’s government affairs team has reviewed each of the 2,100 bills introduced and met regularly with our Legislative Committee on bills impacting members. At this stage, most bills are in the process of receiving public hearings. Committee votes on bills during the next two weeks will largely determine the outcome of key legislation. AOBA is supporting several bills that would assist our members on the following issues:
- Security Deposit Interest - SB 408 and HB 782 are bills sponsored at the request of AOBA and allied business groups to clarify the calculation of interest on residential security deposits. Legislation enacted last year altered the rate of interest payable on residential security deposits from 3 percent to a market-based rate, effective January 1, 2015. However, the legislation was ambiguous regarding the term for accrual of interest and when the new interest rate was effective. This legislation clarifies that the new interest rate is effective for interest accruing on or after January 1, 2015 and that interest will accrue on monthly intervals after the initial 6 months. The bills are pending respectively in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Environment and Transportation Committee.
- Exemption from Collection Agency Licensing - HB 951 would exempt from the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act a landlord, or person acting on behalf of a landlord, in the collection of rent or allied charges for a property. The bill is in response to several class action lawsuits that have been filed against property management companies alleging that the companies should have been licensed by the State in order to collect debts for another person (the property owner). The bill is in the House Environment and Transportation Committee.
- Limited Lead-Free Exemptions - HB 1158 would extend from 2 years to 5 years the frequency with which an owner of pre-1978 residential rental property would be required to inspect for chipping, peeling or flaking paint on exterior areas of the property, in order to maintain a limited lead-free exemption. Such exemptions would expire by October 1, 2020 unless the number of units, common areas and exterior surfaces tested was in accordance with specified federal regulations. The bill is in the House Rules Committe