Tag: renting

Why You Should Live with Your Significant Other Whether You Want To or Not

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Couple relaxing with champagne by boxes in new home smiling

In Baltimore, love can save you money. In fact, a casual sort of fondness can save you money if you think you can make it last the entire length of a lease.

Trulia.com computed what they call the “Shacking-Up Discount” — how much money you save trading in two 1-bedroom apartments for one two-bedroom apartment. In Baltimore, you save 38 percent in rent, a little higher than the national average. Then you can each keep a bedroom to yourself (!); or, if he or she doesn’t snore, you can share a bed and fight over who gets to turn the unused room into an office, yoga studio, craft room, place to store you collection of antique pie birds, or whatever.

Annapolis Legislates Lead Poisoning

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Statewide, more than 500 children were found to have “harmful levels” of lead in their blood as recently as 2010. The effects of lead poisoning are wide-ranging and long-lasting. And right now there is a whole bunch of lead poisoning legislation up for debate in Annapolis right now. Eight different bills seek variously to expand state regulations (expanding regulations to cover later-built homes, requiring windows be replaced as opposed to painted over, etc.), and to protect landlords from lawsuits.

After a recent Court of Appeals ruling overturned the $17,000 limit on damages in cases of lead poisoning, landlords have threatened to board up their units rather than to rent and take the chance of have to shell out upwards of a million dollars per victim. This argument – “If we can’t poison our tenants, how will we survive financially” – is a variation on the but-if-we-don’t-feed-our-chickens-poison-how-will-we-remain-competitive? argument used by the state poultry industry back in February, and it’s a little hard to sympathize with. On the other hand, if a landlord was in good faith following state lead regulations to a T, then how culpable is he? One of the bills says, basically, “not at all.”

While hashing out who owes how much for an instance of lead poisoning is certainly an important issue. Let’s not forget that what everyone wants is fewer cases of lead poisoning. It’s ultimately in the interests of both landlords and tenants – all Marylanders, really – to demand effective, definitive lead regulations that reduce the risk of poisoning to near zero.

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