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So much for property rights.
A councilman in Prince George’s County, Maryland has come up with a way to stick it to landlords, by making them responsible for law enforcement Sheriffagainst their tenants.
The proposed law is part of the county’s new crime reduction program.  Under the rules, landlords, not police, are responsible for dispensing justice on unruly tenants.
Forced Evictions
The new proposal requires that landlords evict tenants who have been ticketed for noise violations.  This includes any sort of noise that can be heard a short distance outside the rental property.  The evictions are at the landlords’ expense, in a county where the backlog can take several months to complete.
Landlords who fail to comply will lose their rights to rent in the county.
Once a tenant has been evicted under this new law, they are to be blacklisted from any rentals in the county, possibly for as long as a year.  It is not clear whether the tenant actually has to be convicted of the noise ordinance violations before they are blacklisted.
Landlords who rent to these black sheep may face penalties, increasing the already difficult burden of screening tenants, and creating possible liability for discrimination.
Opponents to the measure point out that law enforcement is not a landlord’s job, nor their responsibility.  But it appears many local residents feel that it is unruly tenants who are ruining their otherwise tranquil neighborhoods.
This law is not unlike other measures proposed in small college towns around the country, where council members are experimenting with zoning restrictions that prohibit unrelated roommates, restrict the number of residents per property, limit parking rights, impose curfews, or beef up police patrols around rental properties.  In a neighborhood adjacent to the University of Colorado, a school that rates high on the party meter, the city attempted to discourage the barrage of raucous keggers and outdoor couch fires by prohibiting all residents of the neighborhood from setting any upholstered furniture on their porches, decks or lawns.
If the Maryland law does take effect, there is some controversy over whether it is constitutional to single out rental property owners.
After all, the homeowner with the chronically barking dog is not being threatened with seizure of their property.
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  • john

    Thats a good one!!!! And there I thought the crazy liberals in Los Angeles had stupid ideas.

  • Sharon Hartmann

    That is preposterous and discriminating. You might as well throw the tenant in jail if they are “barred” from living in that county. I bet the idiot who came up with this rule is some charitable hippocrite. What ever happened to pursuit of happiness, life and above all, Liberty? People, please reach out beyond yourselves and vote this into the ground where it belongs.

  • jim

    One thing to remember is that many job applications contain the disclaimer that a SSN is not required however, failure to supply the requested information may effect the hiring decision or words to that effect. I believe the same would hold true on a rental application, but if I can’t very your credit history, I might not rent to you. Until the government comes up for a substitute for the SSN, this is the only way we as landlords can very rent worthness.

  • I am in one of the oldest professions; there are 4 of them. 1. The Prostitute, 2. The Soldier, 3. The Religious Leader, and 4. The Landlord. Every day I prostitute myself on the front lines between the tenant and the landlord all the while working at a church. This law would just be another duty in my daily tasks…however, I see huge problems with enforcement…namely Federal Fair Housing. In AZ, where I work, I am financially responsible for evicting tenants and I can do it in as little as 11 days for non payment of rent…and 24 hours for criminal activity. This law, if enacted in Maryland, seems to be what I do already in Arizona and doesn’t really alarm me.

  • I see fair housing violations relating to “familial status” with zoning restrictions that prohibit unrelated roommates and/or restrict the number of residents per property. I’ve been low-income housing for 25 years and have never had to defend a discrimination suit. It was a shock to me when my daughter was apt hunting nearby was given blatant fair housing violations just calling around simply be cause she has 4 kids. Between the people who don’t care and local governments apparently deciding to overrule fair housing laws, how are we as landlords suppose to know which set of rules to follow or pay extra $ thru taxes (especially property taxes that are extravagant to start with) prosecuting other land lords caught between federal law & local law?

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