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 - Security Deposit

Supan v. Hillary

Date: 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a complaint on 12/19/11 requesting the immediate termination of her lease, return of her security deposit (subsequently amended to include punitive damages), the return of rent paid, moving expenses and lost pay.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 3/20/12 hearing COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 5/2/12 awarding the tenant a portion of her security deposit, but denied her other claims.

Post Decision Action(s): 

None.

Henson v. Exit Realty Solutions

Date: 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 12/14/10 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 2/8/11 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 3/18/11 awarding the tenant the amount wrongfully withheld.

Post Decision Action(s): 

None.

Lavallee v. Mendez

Date: 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 5/28/10 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 7/13/10 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 8/13/10 awarding the Tenant the amount wrongfully withheld plus a punitive damages monetary award.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord filed a Petition For Judicial Review of the Opinion and Order which the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on 8/26/11 overruled COLTA's award of punitive damages, but sustained the award of the additional refund amount.

Battle v. Giakoumatos

Date: 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 8/31/09 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 11/4/09 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 11/24/09, denying the relief requested by the Tenant.

Post Decision Action(s): 

None.

Flores v. Shonumi

Date: 

Friday, July 10, 2009

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 4/22/09 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 6/16/09 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 7/10/09 awarding the Tenant three times the amount of the original deposit based on the Commission’s finding of Landlord negligence for failing to return the Tenant’s deposit plus applicable interest.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord failed to comply with the COLTA Order and did not respond to subsequent City enforcement action. Attempts to secure a lien against the property were terminated by the Tenant.

Somers v. Mendez

Date: 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund and Defective Tenancy complaint on 12/10/07 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 8/19/08 rescheduled hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order which awarded the former Tenant the balance of her security deposit refund but denied her defective tenancy complaint.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord complied with the COLTA Order.

Myers v. Mkakaile

Date: 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 4/28/08 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 6/17/08 hearing COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 7/23/08 awarding the Tenant three times the amount of the original security deposit based on the Commission’s finding of Landlord Negligence for failing to return the Tenant’s security deposit plus applicable interest.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Tenant was referred to District Court for follow-up legal action.

Negassa v. Lee Ave. Apartments/ LLC & K & R Mgm’t Group, Inc./Eric Denchfield

Date: 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 1/7/08 against the Landlord and the building’s management company.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 5/20/08 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 6/3/08 awarding the Tenant his security deposit plus accrued and continuing interest accrual for the Landlord’s failure to comply with applicable state law.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Tenant was referred to District Court for follow-up legal action.

Mankiewicz v. Ellman

Date: 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on12/4/07 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 3/18/08 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 4/23/08 awarding the former tenant her security deposit plus accrued interest for the Landlord’s failure to comply with applicable state law.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord complied with the COLTA Order.

Kaufman v. Silberman

Date: 

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 7/9/07 against the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 9/11/07 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 10/9/07 awarding the former Tenant her security deposit plus accrued interest for the Landlord’s failure to comply with applicable state law.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Following the Landlord’s filing of a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by COLTA and his subsequent appeal to the Circuit Court which affirmed the COLTA Decision, the Landlord complied with the COLTA Order.

Williams v. Reden Management/Eric Denchfield

Date: 

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 3/23/07 against the Landlord and the building’s management company.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 4/24/07 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 5/30/07 awarding the former Tenant her security deposit plus accrued interest for the Landlord’s failure to comply with applicable state law.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord complied with the COLTA Order.

Payton v. Reden Management/Eric Denchfield

Date: 

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a Security Deposit refund complaint on 2/5/07 against the building’s management company and the Landlord.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 3/13/07 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 4/12/07 awarding the former Tenant her security deposit plus accrued interest for the Landlord’s failure to comply with applicable state law.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord’s appeal was dismissed by Circuit Court and Landlord complied with the COLTA Order.

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.