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NEWS
By Deborah Weimer | June 12, 2013
On most days in landlord-tenant court in Baltimore City District Court, the only issue is: "Did you pay your rent?" If not, you are on the street. No defense is allowed, such as "I was sick and lost time from work," "My benefit check did not arrive," or even, "We have no hot water and there is mold growing in the apartment because of the leaky roof. " The tenant must be able to pay the full amount to even raise a legal claim that the housing is posing a health danger. If rent due has not been paid, and the tenant cannot pay the full amount, the tenant is summarily evicted.
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NEWS
June 3, 2013
Recent letters to the editor have focused on the reality that people deserving of Section 8 assistance need more landlords to open up their homes and apartments to Section 8 so that the housing poor will more quickly and easily obtain the housing that they need. Yes, deserving people need more quality housing to be available. Landlords have the housing. Responsible landlords appreciate stable sources of income. Section 8 has housing money. Just why shouldn't we encourage Section 8 personnel to be neutral, helpful and just honestly follow the regulations and always work fairly with honest landlords?
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Faika Shaaban developed an itchy rash the day she moved into an Annapolis apartment in the fall of 2011. The hundreds of bites, the lesions and the resulting scarring were from bedbugs. She had no idea that she'd rented an apartment whose landlord had been notified of a potential bedbug infestation only weeks earlier, according to her lawsuit against the landlord. An Anne Arundel County jury awarded the 69-year-old woman $800,000 this week, an amount that lawyers familiar with such cases said was the highest they have seen.
NEWS
May 29, 2013
I recently read the letter James Gatton wrote to The Sun in response to Stefanie Deluca's letter to the editor. Mr . Gatton's letter ("Section 8 housing is a nightmare for landlords," May 12) could be no further from the truth. First, it does not take two months for a landlord to get the necessary Section 8 approvals. Usually from the time you turn in the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA), have the inspection and then have a signed lease is a total of 14-to-20 days. This process only take this long to prevent fraud - the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC)
NEWS
May 14, 2013
I strongly agree with Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. director Robert J. Strupp that all Marylanders should have an equal opportunity to live in decent, safe housing with "access to transportation, jobs and safe, academically achieving schools" ("State shouldn't let landlords discriminate," May 5). Having studied the bill, I can see that the provisions of the Home Act, with its source-of-income protection, would simply compel landlords to treat all tenant applicants fairly and would in no way prevent landlords from using criteria to ensure they are getting responsible, reliable tenants.
NEWS
May 12, 2013
In a recent letter to the editor, Johns Hopkins professor Stefanie DeLuca recently suggested that many landlords refuse to rent to people with Section 8 housing vouchers because they are unfairly prejudiced against those prospective tenants ("Mossburg misrepresents research on vouchers," May 8). My guess is that Ms. DeLuca has never dealt with Section 8 as a landlord. The prejudice of landlords is directed not against the people but against the nightmare bureaucracy that Section 8 rentals entail.
NEWS
By Robert J. Strupp | May 5, 2013
As we recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act, it is significant to note that the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan regions are among the most segregated in America. Last month, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law recently reported on a study showing that Maryland's public school system is among the most segregated in the nation. The report, conducted by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, revealed that more than half of the state's black students attended schools with minority enrollments between 90 percent and 100 percent during the 2010-2011 school year, up from 33 percent in 1989.
NEWS
Marta H. Mossburg | April 23, 2013
Human nature frequently disproves theories. Conventional wisdom, for example, says that open office space plans with workers grouped like cattle encourage creativity and collaboration. But study after study shows that people are more inventive, productive and healthy with more privacy. Susan Cain writes about this eloquently in "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. " But examples are legion of experience trumping ideology. Would that legislators, like state Sen. Jamie Raskin, keep this in mind when trying to help people.
NEWS
By Saul E. Kerpelman | March 6, 2013
In October 2011, the Court of Appeals, Maryland's highest court, struck down provisions of the Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act that gave landlords immunity from being sued in some circumstances when children were poisoned by lead based paint in their properties. The court left intact the safety provisions of the act that require landlords statewide to meet certain minimum safety standards with respect to lead based-paint hazards. The court said that the immunity provisions were unconstitutional because they denied brain-damaged children their day in court and denied them a remedy for their injuries.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2013
Pat and Henry Bradley say their landlord decided to suddenly kick them out of his waterfront Dundalk house, changing the locks while they were still frantically trying to remove their belongings. The couple, who didn't have a lease, are to testify about their experience in Annapolis this week when House and Senate members convene hearings to decide whether to stop landlords and property owners from locking out residents without court orders and sheriff's deputies on standby to evict them.
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