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Posted at 2:22 PM ET, 06/24/2010

MoCo renters' rights group formed

By Washington Post editors

A group of renters and community activists have established a Montgomery County Renters Alliance, saying it will be the first countywide organization to advocate for renters’ rights.

Matt Losak, the alliance’s executive director, said it grew out of a “tenants work group” that Montgomery Executive Isiah Leggett (D) appointed in 2008. The work group issued its recommendations in March. They included establishing a rent-control law, requiring landlords to have “just cause” before terminating a lease and forming a permanent group to represent renters’ interests. Montgomery does not limit the amount of rent increases, and tenants can be evicted without explanation.

Losak, who also chaired the work group, said more than 25 percent of Montgomery residents live in rental housing. The alliance will serve as a “voice for renters” and work to carry out the work group’s recommendations, he said.

The alliance plans to file for nonprofit status in the next few weeks and will soon have a website, Losak said. In the meantime, the group can be reached via e-mail at tokamaphepa@aol.com

-- Katherine Shaver

By Washington Post editors  | June 24, 2010; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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