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 - Retaliation

Akpadja v. 7401 New Hampshire Avenue, LLC et al

Date: 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenant filed a complaint on 9/23/12 alleging that his tenancy had been terminated in retaliation for his complaints to the landlord and the Montgomery County Code Enforcement Office about defects in his apartment. The tenant requested that the Notice to Vacate from the landlord be withdrawn.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 10/9/12 emergency hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 11/6/12 denying the relief requested by the tenant.

Post Decision Action(s): 

None.

Douma/Vinas v. Twomey

Date: 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Case: 

Issue: 

Tenants filed a complaint on 7/30/12 alleging that the landlord had failed to renew their lease in retaliation for their written complaints to the landlord, their filing of a complaint with the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs and because the landlord had filed a Fair Return Rent Increase Petition. The tenants requested that the landlord extend their lease for an additional three year period.

COLTA Decision: 

Following the 8/21/12 public hearing, COLTA issued its Opinion and Order on 9/27/12 denying the relief requested by the tenant.

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.