Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs (COLTA)

Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs (COLTA)

The Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs (COLTA) is a quasi-judicial body created by the Takoma Park City Council and empowered to adjudicate complaints for violations of Chapter 6.16 City Code & Charter link icon (Landlord-Tenant Relations) and Chapter 6.20 City Code & Charter link icon (Rent Stabilization) of the Takoma Park Code. COLTA rules on petitions for rent increases above the rent stabilization allowance and on appeals from the City Manager’s decision to deny, suspend or revoke a rental housing or commercial license.

Written COLTA complaints are filed with the city’s Landlord-Tenant Division and heard by the Commission only after tenants or landlords cannot reach an accord following the Landlord-Tenant Division’s efforts to resolve their dispute. After hearing a case, a panel of three COLTA Commissioners determine if a violation has occurred. Approximately 30 days after the hearing, a written decision is mailed to the parties. The Commission’s written decision (Opinion & Order) may be appealed to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Failure to comply with a Commission Opinion and Order may result in enforcement action by the City.

COLTA has issued Opinions and Orders addressing a range of landlord-tenant issues including security deposit refunds, illegal rent increases, defective tenancy, and notices to vacate.

COLTA Case Summaries

COLTA Case Summaries - Illegal Rent Increase

Allen et al v. Hillwood Manor Apts., JV et al

Date

Friday, December 3, 2010

Issue

Several tenants filed Illegal Rent complaints on 5/10/10 through 7/7/10 against the rental property owner and the owner's managing agent.

COLTA Decision

Following the 9/29/10 combined complaints hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 12/3/10 ruling that the Tenants had been charged illegal rents for varying periods of time and ordered that the tenants should be refunded varying amounts. One Tenant's complaint (10-16T) was dismissed for failing to appear at the hearing.

Post Decision Action(s)

Landlord's Petition For Judicial Review to the Circuit Court For Montgomery County, Maryland is pending.

Harper-Gonzalez v. Hillwood Manor Apts. JV et al

Date

Monday, April 19, 2010

Issue

Tenant filed an Illegal Rent complaint on 1/20/10 against the property owner and the property owner's management company.

COLTA Decision

Following the 3/16/10 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 4/19/10 ruling that the tenant had paid illegal rent amounts for the periods March 2006 through June 2009 and was awarded rent refunds.

Post Decision Action(s)

Landlord filed a Petition For Judicial Review of the Opinion that included a Motion To Stay. The Motion To Stay the COLTA Order was granted by the Circuit Court on 6/30/10.

Henson v. 8314 Roanoke Ave., LLC/Reden Mgm’t/Eric Denchfield

Date

Monday, November 23, 2009

Issue

Tenant filed an Illegal Rent/Defective Tenancy complaint against the Landlord on 9/17/09

COLTA Decision

Following the 11/17/09 hearing COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 11/23/09 and ruled that the Landlord had charged the tenant an illegal rent amount and was responsible for a Defective Tenancy. The Landlord was ordered to pay the Tenant monetary damages for the illegal rent along with damages for the Defective Tenancy and if he failed to comply the Tenant was authorized to withhold future rent payments in an amount equal to the Commission award.

Post Decision Action(s)

None.

San Nicholas et al v. 8708 Bradford Road LLC/Eric Denchfield

Date

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Issue

Four individual Tenants filed Illegal Rent /Defective Tenancy complaints against their Landlord on 6/10/09, 618/09 and 7/6/09.

COLTA Decision

Following the 7/28/09 combined cases hearing COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 8/26/09 and ruled that the Landlord was responsible for the Defective Tenancy and had charged each tenant an Illegal Rent. The Landlord was ordered to pay each tenant monetary damages and if he failed to comply, each tenant was authorized to withhold from their future monthly rent payment(s) an amount equal to the Commission award(s).

Post Decision Action(s)

None.

Flores v. Showunmi

Date

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Issue

Tenant filed an Illegal Rent Increase complaint on 9/12/08 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision

Following the hearing on 11/18/08, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 11/25/08 and ruled that the Landlord charged an illegal rent and awarded monetary damages to the Tenant. The Landlord was ordered to roll back the rent and Tenant was authorized to withhold future rent payments in an amount equal to the Commission award.

Post Decision Action(s)

None.

Lynott v. 8312 Flower Ave, LLC & Reden Management

Date

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Issue

Tenant filed an Illegal Rent Increase complaint on 5/1/08 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision

Following the hearing on 7/1/08, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 7/15/08 and ruled that the Landlord charged an illegal rent and awarded monetary damages to the Tenant. The Landlord was ordered to roll back the rent and Tenant was authorized to withhold future rent payments in an amount equal to the Commission award.

Post Decision Action(s)

None.

City Code & Charter link icon The online Charter and Code are published on the Code Publishing Company website. The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Takoma Park Municipal Charter and Code. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited on the Code Publishing Company website.