On Monday, November 18, the Baltimore City Council passed the Water Affordability and Equity Act. This is a big win for Baltimore City homeowners and renters alike. As water rates have risen in recent years to pay for improvements to keep our water clean, the burden of these price increases has fallen hard on many Baltimore residents. More and more working families, seniors and other low-income households have been unable to pay their bills and faced having their water service cut off. From our office at Rent Court, we saw the impact when tenants were threatened with eviction over a water bill, or when tenants couldn’t dispute an excessive bill because the account was in the landlord’s name.
The Water Affordability and Equity Act will address these challenges, and we were proud to support this legislation as a member of the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition. Congratulations to every partner in the coalition and thank you to the many City leaders who carried this bill through to passage. Here are a few ways that renters will benefit from the new law: