Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The county council for Montgomery County hereby finds, recognizes and declares that a rental housing emergency exists throughout the county and has been caused, in large part, by the conversion of rental housing in the county to condominiums. The county council finds that the incidence of condominium conversion is substantial and poses a serious threat to the existence of a sufficient supply of rental stock in the county to accommodate the needs of the citizens. The county council recognizes that in the past eighteen (18) months, approximately five thousand (5,000) rental units out of approximately fifty-five thousand (55,000) rental units in rental facilities in the county have converted or are in the process of converting to condominium. These conversions are in addition to nearly ten thousand (10,000) conversions of existing rental units to condominium in the county which have occurred in the past ten years.
The county council further finds that there is an increasing percentage of construction of residential units in the county that are intended for condominium development and that few, if any, units are being constructed for rental purposes.
As a result, the county council finds that the combination of the conversion of existing rental units and the lack of construction of new rental units in the county has resulted in an extreme scarcity of rental housing in the county and insufficient and inadequate numbers of rental dwelling units available to citizens whose economic or other circumstances require such rental facilities.
The county council further finds that conversions of rental facilities have resulted in large-scale displacement of tenants from their rental homes and have caused many tenants extreme financial and emotional hardships associated with moving and attempting to relocate in another rental facility. The county council finds that the hardship to tenants from displacement caused by condominium conversion is particularly acute for the elderly, the handicapped and the economically disadvantaged.
In addition, the county council finds that prospective purchasers of condominium units are often without knowledge of the unique concepts of ownership involved in condominium housing and that buyers do not always have a sufficient factual basis presented to them on which to make a reasonable decision. The county council is aware of reported abuses by sellers of condominium units.
Accordingly, the county council finds that it is in the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare to provide for the exercise of a reasonable right of first refusal by the county or the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission to purchase a rental facility or units therein, as permitted by state law and to provide for extended tenancies to certain tenants. Further, in order to facilitate fair and equitable bargaining and to provide the buyers of condominium units with basic information by which to make an intelligent housing choice, it is necessary and appropriate for the county to require the sellers of condominium units to prepare and distribute information deemed relevant to the buyers of this type of residential property, to file certain documents and notices with the county, and to provide additional consumer and tenant protections for the public welfare. (1982 L.M.C., ch. 2, § 1.)