SALISBURY, Md- Residents of Moss Hill Apartments breathe a sigh of relief as the rental company has reached an agreement with HUD to suspend rent increases through April, with prices increasing quarterly through March 2023 at the rate of the market. Prior to the change, residents would have been responsible for paying up to a maximum of £1034 per month for a 3 bedroom from February 1.

“It makes us all feel better and that’s a huge relief,” resident Jaime Brumbley said, adding “That’s all I was asking, I wasn’t trying to say I didn’t want to pay it or couldn’t afford it I was just asking for time to budget better.

According to the City of Salisbury, the change came after a series of meetings between HUD, the property owners and the city in December that pressured landlords to find tenants a better way forward.

“Our best bet was to go to hud and say we need you to step up and talk to these people and let them know this is not okay, this is not the right thing to do for raise the rent automatically and we need to see that happen for a period of time,” said Salisbury Housing and Community Development Director Ron Strickler.

HUD contacted the city of Salisbury to let them know a deal with moss hill had been reached in December according to Strickler, but residents weren’t notified of the development until Thursday.

“They were told something different, which was very surprising, the information was not provided to residents,” he said.

Another concern for the city, if important documents required to rent in Salisbury were given to the Moss Hill offices for these new leases. Strickler tells us that if those documents weren’t turned over according to city guidelines for rented properties, that’s more leverage they have to hold Moss Hill accountable, on what would otherwise be a federal program run by a private enterprise.

“It is the responsibility of the owner of this property to make sure they are properly verifying income, not HUD with respect to compliance issues,” Strickler said, adding “We are exploring whether any lease amendments have been distributed to residents and if they were able to withdraw leases from the office, and if it is determined that they are not complying with our orders, the town of Salisbury has the power to do a number of things, this not may not be a citation, but the city has the power to revoke rental licenses.”

Jamie Brumbley tells us she trusts Moss Hill to follow their word now, but she says it shouldn’t have required the city’s involvement.

“Without the city without the people helping to communicate, this would never have happened,” she said.

Strickler says he credits Moss Hill with changing payments ahead of any potential evictions.

“It was the right thing to do and I commend them for taking those steps, I don’t know if how we got here was the right process,” Strickler said.

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