Tenants have the right to self-organization; to form, join, meet or assist one another. Tenant associations formed in accordance with City Code, Sections 6.16.030 and 6.32.110 are required to register with the City of Takoma Park’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
To be considered a tenant association recognized by the City of Takoma Park as “Registered” the tenant group must represent at least one-third (1/3) of the occupied rental units in the rental facility, on the date the Registration is filed with the City.
A member of a registered tenant association must be a lease holder or a tenant accepted by the landlord as a responsible person for the rental unit. Responsible person status may be shown by the landlord’s acceptance of previous rent payments.
Upon receiving the Tenant Association Registration form, the City will determine that the application includes names for at least 1/3 of the occupied rental units in the facility. Within five business days of receipt of the Tenant Association Registration form, the City will send a letter to the tenant association president and the landlord, acknowledging the receipt of the registration material of the tenant association. A copy of the Tenant Association Registration form will be sent to the landlord with the letter.
A landlord has five business days from the receipt of the notification letter, to file an objection to the formation of the tenant association. A copy of the objection must also be sent to the president of the tenant association. Such objection by the landlord shall be limited to challenges of the names submitted by the Tenant Association to comprise the mandatory1/3 membership.
The City will investigate any objection to the formation of the tenant association and rule on the objection. The landlord shall have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Membership Listing submitted with the Registration form does not include representatives from 1/3 of the occupied units.
Certification of a Tenant Association
The City shall issue a tenant association registration certificate within ten (10) business days of the receipt of a Tenant Association Registration form unless the landlord has raised an objection to the formation of the tenant association.
Registered tenant associations are encouraged, but not required, to invite new tenants to join the association. New tenants may join by signing the Tenant Association Membership Listing or by submitting to the association a written statement of intent to join.
Re-registration of a Tenant Association
A tenant association must re-register with the City once every three (3) years to demonstrate that the organization’s membership is active and its membership represents at least 1/3 of the occupied rental units.