Thursday, March 5, 2009

Maryland Legislative Update: House of Delegates

The following was compiled by the Law Office of J. William Pitcher and republished with permission by it and the Maryland Land Title Association. Each proposed House bill and amendment would, if passed, have some impact on real estate in Maryland.

HB 79 - Real Property - Mortgage Fraud - Creation of Fraudulent Documents. Expands the scope of the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Protection Act to prohibit the creation or production of a document that contains a deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission with the intent that the document be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to the mortgage lending process.

HB 143 - Baltimore City - Newly Constructed Dwelling Property Tax Credit - Modification and Reauthorization - Authorizing the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City to establish maximum limits for a Newly constructed dwelling property tax credit; authorizing the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City to establish a one-time application amnesty period subject to specified restrictions.

HB 186 - Real Property - Condemnation Proceedings - Valuation of Property - Establishing that damages awarded for the taking of property used for a business may include specified damages for the loss of goodwill; including in the calculation of damages any diminution in value occurring after the first official governmental announcement of a public project; and including specified costs in calculating diminution in value for specified property.

HB 194 - Land Use - Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements - Increasing from 5 to 10 years the time period after which a specified development rights and responsibilities agreement will be void under specified circumstances; and providing that a local jurisdiction may not enforce specified laws, rules, regulations, or policies governing the use, density, or intensity of specified real property that is subject to development rights and responsibilities agreements unless specified circumstances exist.

HB 197 - Real Property - Installation and Use of Clotheslines on Residential Property - Prohibiting a local legislative body from prohibiting the installation or use of clotheslines on residential property; providing that a contract, deed, rule, bylaw, lease agreement, or other document may not prohibit a homeowner or tenant from installing or using clotheslines on specified residential property; providing that the Act does not prohibit reasonable restrictions, for specified purposes, on the dimensions, placement, or appearance of clotheslines.

HB 263- Real Property - Common Ownership Community Ombudsman - Establishing the office of Common Ownership Community Ombudsman in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; providing for the appointment, service, qualifications, and salary of the Ombudsman; requiring a common ownership community to register with the Ombudsman; requiring the Ombudsman to charge a fee for registration; establishing a Common Ownership Community Ombudsman Fund; providing that the Fund is a special, nonlapsing fund; exempting a homeowners association from the Act under specified circumstances.

HB 287 - Real Property - Condominiums - Repair or Replacement of Unit by Council of Unit Owners - Clarifying that the council of unit owners of a condominium is responsible for the repair or replacement of condominium units, exclusive of improvements and betterments installed in units by unit owners other than the developer, in the event of damage or destruction of the condominium; providing that the owner of the unit where damage originated is responsible for the council of unit owners' property insurance deductible up to $10,000.

HB 428 - Property Tax - Semiannual Payment Schedule - Small Business Property - Requiring the governing body of a county or of a municipal corporation to provide a semiannual payment schedule for State, county, municipal corporation, and special taxing district property taxes on small business property with a property tax bill of $50,000 or less; applying the Act to taxable years beginning after June 30, 2010.

HB 443 - Real Property - Restrictions - Clotheslines or Other Laundry Drying Devices –Authorizing a homeowner or tenant to use a clothesline or other laundry drying device on specified property notwithstanding the terms of any contract or other document concerning use of clotheslines; authorizing the governing body of a condominium, homeowners association, or housing cooperative or a landlord to restrict use of clotheslines and other laundry drying devices following an open meeting of affected homeowners or tenants of which advance notice must be provided.

HB 465 - Income Tax - Payments - Sale of Real Property by Nonresidents - Setting the rate of tax that must be paid to the clerk of the circuit court for a county or to the Department of Assessments and Taxation before the recording of specified deeds for the sale of property to be 7.5% of the total payment to a nonresident or 8.25% of the total payment to a nonresident entity.

HB 497 - Maryland Power of Attorney Form and Oversight Act - Establishing the Maryland Power of Attorney Form and Oversight Act; amending the law concerning specified witnesses, certification, and recordation of a power of attorney; providing for judicial proceedings concerning a power of attorney; requiring a person to accept a power of attorney under specified circumstances; establishing a statutory form for creation of a power of attorney.

HB 544 – Real Property - Mechanic's Lien - Certified Interior Design Services - Establishing that work done for or about a building, for purposes of establishing a mechanic's lien, includes specified interior design services provided by a certified interior designer.

HB 852 - Maryland Uniform Power of Attorney Act - Loretta's Law - Repealing provisions of law relating to durable powers of attorney; establishing the Maryland Uniform Power of Attorney Act; establishing exceptions to the application of the Act; establishing that a power of attorney created under the Act is durable unless the power of attorney contains a specified provision; requiring a power of attorney to be signed by the principal or a specified other individual.

HB 1006 - Real Property - Community Land Trusts - Exempting a LEASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY THE LESSOR OF WHICH IS A COMMUNITY LAND TRUST , from the statutory right to redeem a lease, including a ground lease, or the statutory right to convert an irredeemable ground rent, by a tenant if a community land trust is the lessor and the lease grants the lessor specified preemptive rights to purchase the lessee's interest, or if the lease contains specified restrictions on the transfer of the property.

For details on each, please visit the Maryland General Assembly website. Tomorrow will feature bills currently introduced to the Maryland State Senate.