Dismissed: Tenants lose, landlords win in Baltimore's rent court

Baltimore is home to the nation’s first housing court. Established 70 years ago, the court was supposed to hold landlords accountable for code violations, such as failing to provide heat, remove lead paint, or respond to pest infestations. But today, even if city inspectors deem properties so endangering to health and safety that they are uninhabitable, judges routinely require tenants to pay withheld rent before cases are even heard.

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