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 Cases - Entry

Brown-Thomas v. Deauville Associates LLP et al

Date: 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed an Illegal Entry complaint on 4/26/11 against the property owner and the property owner’s management company.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 7/19/11 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 8/2/11 ruling that the landlord had twice entered the tenants’ apt without providing the required advance notice and had once failed to provide a report of entry as required by Section 6.16.140 of the Takoma Park Code. The tenant was awarded $300.00.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord compliance with the COLTA Order is pending.

Allen/Parrish v. Hillwood Manor Apts. JV et al

Date: 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenants filed an Illegal Entry complaint on 3/4/11 against the property owner and the property owner’s management company.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 5/24/11 hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 6/15/11 ruling that the landlord had twice entered the tenants’ apartment without providing the required advance notice and reports of entry as required by Section 6.16.140 of the Takoma Park Code. The tenants were awarded $1,600.00.

Post Decision Action(s): 

Landlord filed a Petition for Judicial Review of the COLTA Opinion and Order. A Circuit Court hearing is pending.

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.