Resources for Renters

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act Bill signing

On Monday October 16, 2023, Mayor Brandon Scott, alongside Councilwoman Odette Ramos and former Council President Mary Pat Clarke, signed into law “The Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.” 

The bill becomes effective Saturday, April 13, 2024.

About the “The Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act”

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) aims to restore renters’ ability to engage directly with their landlords who may be looking to sell their rental properties and provide easier pathways for renters to move to homeownership. The bill was inspired by the continuous advocacy and previous legislation led by former Council President Mary Pat Clarke. As a Councilwoman representing Northeast Baltimore, she worked with St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center founders Vinnie Quayle and Frank Fisher on the original ‘Tenant Right of First Refusal’ legislation, which was the first legislation in the country designed to give tenants the opportunity to purchase the homes in which they live when the owner was ready to sell.

Exemptions added by later legislation weakened former Council President Clarke’s original bill. However, Councilwoman Odette Ramose, Clarke's successor, along with her Council peers, Bullock, Cohen, Burnett, Dorsey, Porter, Conway, Glover, Stokes, Torrence, introduced new legislation to strenghten the original bill and ensure that renters have the best chance to purchase the home in which they already live. To learn how this may affect you as a renter or landlord, see Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Fact Sheet Also, see Sample Affidavit.

NOTE:  Affidavits should be submitted to

How DHCD is Here to Support Renters

To support the Renters navigating the new opportunities that come as a result of "Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act,” going into effect, the Baltimore City DHCD has put together a guidebook.

This resource has important information Renter’s need to know about renting in Baltimore City and how this law may affect them.

The guidebook contains information about new home owner grant opportunities, legal support for landlord disputes, answers to frequently asked questions renters may have and more.

Check out the Renter’s Resource Guidebook here!
Tenant's Rights Guidebook Cover