As introduced by Delegate Shaneka Henson, HB 129/SB 70, would require municipalities to conduct annual inspection of all rental dwellings in their jurisdiction. The bill also requires the landlord to pay the costs of inspections and remediation, but that is unlikely to cover the costs of staff and equipment for implementing such a program.
During the hearing, League staff shared a framework that has been discussed with bill sponsor:
In the performance of their regular duties, if an inspector observes what they believe to be mold, they must notify the landlord of their responsibility for testing and remediation. If the locality does not have an enforcement mechanism in place, they must also notify the Department that is responsible for the enforcement provisions in the bill (in coordination with verified 3rd parties).
The framework makes it clear that municipalities can not take on new, jurisdiction-wide inspections. Instead, the proposed amendments take advantage of when local inspectors are already on-site in accordance with their rental licensing agreement or via a complaint to code-enforcement. Delegate Henson has asked for the amendments to be drafted and is working closely with MML staff. The crossfile, SB70, has its hearing in the Senate on Thursday, January 28.