Advocacy Letter: Bill 24-19 Obligations of Landlord – Air Conditioning

Bill 24-19 Landlord-Tenant Relations – Obligations of Landlord – Air Conditioning
Sponsor(s): Tom Hucker
Co-Sponsor(s): Jawando, Albornoz, Navarro

 

Bill 24-19 would require a landlord to provide and maintain air conditioning service for rental housing located in the County during certain months and establish standards for air conditioning service provided by a landlord.

 

County Council goes on recess the whole month of August and when it resumes in September there will be only a few days before Bill 24-19 has a public hearing. Getting a veto-proof majority before the Council recess will be a sign of tenant strength 💪

 

(Optional – Twitter message)
I just sent a letter encouraging @Andrew_Friedson @EvanMGlass @hansriemer @RicePolitics @MC_Council_Katz to co-sponsor Bill 24-19, requiring landlords to provide tenants with AC during the summer and you can too! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PaMESO_PmM-8iC5y7fMXGUmIEuy93NLawOJeZ1c966c/edit?usp=sharing #MoCo #TenantsRights

 

County Councilmember who are not currently co-sponsoring Bill 24-19 emails:
Councilmember.Friedson@montgomerycountymd.gov
Councilmember.Glass@montgomerycountymd.gov
Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov
Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov
Councilmember.Rice@montgomerycountymd.gov

 

Draft Letter:
available as a Google Doc here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PaMESO_PmM-8iC5y7fMXGUmIEuy93NLawOJeZ1c966c/edit?usp=sharing

 

Dear Councilmember Riemer, Glass, Friedson, and Katz:

My name is (______) and I am a (____) resident. (SELECT ONE) ( I rent an air-conditioned apartment and believe others should have similar safety ) ( My apartment does not come outfitted with air conditioning and my health is at risk ) ( I own a home and realize tenants do not have the same security for air-conditioning ).

I am writing today to strongly urge you to co-sponsor Bill 24-19, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Obligations of Landlord – Air Conditioning, that would vastly improve living conditions for renters across Montgomery County.

As our state continues to register record high temperatures and unhealthy air quality alerts issued by the county have become a common feature, Montgomery County will continue to experience hot summers.

There have been a total of 4 heat-related deaths in the state this year alone, and Montgomery County is high on the list of heat-related emergency calls. This weekend (July 19-21) we are expecting temperatures of 105F degrees and over. Facing the heat, the renter community will have to rely on whatever means necessary to prevent heat exhaustion, hyperthermia, and other heat-related illness.

According to Bill 24-19 sponsor Tom Hucker, one resident who lacked AC in their building described sitting on frozen water bottles to cool off. Another tenant lost consciousness due to heat stroke after giving an interview to Fox 5 DC on the issue of landlords’ to provide air conditioning. Matt Losak of the Montgomery County Renter’s Alliance noted that even tenants with AC in their units are at times powerless to get management properly maintain or repair the units.

In the majority of situations, communities who contribute the least to the existential problem of climate change will suffer the worst effects. Renters, who are disproportionately people of color, immigrants, low-income workers, and include many seniors and children – the most vulnerable to excessive heat – have no protections under the current law.

I want to end by stressing the County already mandates that landlords provide heating during winter, and therefore I strongly encourage you to co-sponsor Bill 24-19, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Obligations of Landlord – Air Conditioning to extend this protection to Montgomery County’s tenants during the summers.

Sincerely,

(__)

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