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January 26, 2012

New proposal for ground-rent registry

For those of you with a vested interest in (or just curiosity about) ground rent: The newest twist in the saga is a bill aimed at the registry.

Fourteen state delegates have proposed that owners who don't register their leases with the state can't collect payments on them.

Here's a short piece about the bill, which comes after an appeals court ruling left the registry intact but struck down the penalty for not getting on the state's list by the 2010 deadline -- the ground rent ceased to exist. (That piece of the law was unconstitutional, Maryland's Court of Appeals ruled, and thus the leases popped back to life.) 

Here's the proposal itself.

If you're trying to find out whether a ground rent has been registered on a particular property, go to the state Department of Assessments and Taxation's property look-up site, type in the address and then click on the "ground rent registration" link in the upper right-hand corner. The registry is supposed to provide the owner's name and contact information.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:30 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Ground rent
        

Comments

Sounds like a good idea. Relatedly, I think that in Baltimore City you are supposed to register as a rental property owner if you rent out your home. Do they double check that you are in compliance with this requirement before you can sue your tenants for back rent or evict them through the court system? Could doing this help bring up compliance with rental registrations and weed out even more homestead tax credit fraud?

Jen, people who own Baltimore homes they don't live in do indeed have to register with the city: http://www.baltimorehousing.org/property_registration.

I haven't heard that not registering prevents anyone from suing or evicting tenants.

Jamie,

I'm not sure, but I did hear something about the city requiring the property to be registered in addition to having a lead cert for eviction. Maybe it was just something they were thinking about, but haven't gotten around to yet.....

Interesting -- I'll see if I can figure out whether that's actually in force. Thanks!

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie
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