Last day to register a ground rent in Maryland
Got ground rent? State law says it will disappear in a puff of smoke if it isn't registered today in person or by mail (meaning postmarked Sept. 29).
That's part of the raft of legislative change ushered in after a Baltimore Sun investigation in 2006, which found that a few ground rent owners were using the Colonial system to seize hundreds of homes over unpaid bills.
One of the changes is the registry. The idea is to make it easier for people to keep track of who owns the land under their homes and how to reach them, since ground-rent holders don't always send bills. Some who inherited ground rents have no idea what the things are, for instance.
But ground-rent owners, especially those with more than a few of the items, say it takes time and money to collect the information required. One is suing, arguing that the law -- register or lose the ground rent -- is unconstitutional. So the fate of unregistered ground rents is uncertain until that case is concluded.
More in today's story, and I'll be working on a longer piece about ground rent for Thursday.