Friday, March 6, 2009

Maryland Legislative Update: Senate

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 Senate bill and amendment would, if passed, have some impact on real estate in Maryland.

SB 86 - Title Insurance Producers - Regulation and Requirements. Specifies that only a licensed title insurance producer may have control over or custody of money in escrow or in trust; increases the amount of the fidelity bond and the surety bond or letter of credit for a title insurance producer's license to $250,000.

SB 109 - Real Property - Residential Leases - Required Mold Assessment and Remediation. Requiring a landlord, at the request of a tenant, to perform a mold assessment of the tenant's dwelling unit; requiring a landlord to carry out mold remediation measures; and authorizing a tenant to deposit rent in an escrow account with a court.

SB 150 - Maryland Uniform Power of Attorney Act - Loretta's Law. Establishes the Maryland Uniform Power of Attorney Act; providing that a power of attorney created under the Act is durable unless the power of attorney contains a specified provision to the contrary; and requires a power of attorney to be signed by the principal or a specified other individual.

SB 203 - Residential Property - Foreclosure - Notice to Occupants. Requiring a secured party to send a written notice of intent to foreclose on residential property to the occupant of the property at least 45 days before filing a foreclosure action; requiring the notice to contain specified information; requiring the occupant to be served in a specified manner with a copy of an order to docket or complaint to foreclose on residential property and specified other papers; and authorizing service to be effected on an occupant in an alternative manner under specified circumstances.

SB 364 - 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.

SB 395 - Task Force to Review Property Tax Assessment Procedure and the Assessment Appeals Process - Establishing a Task Force to Review Property Tax Assessment Procedure and the Assessment Appeals Process; requiring that the Task Force issue a report by January 1, 2010.

SB 453 - 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.

SB 541 - Common Ownership Communities - Fidelity Insurance - Requiring governing bodies of a cooperative housing corporation, a condominium, or a homeowners association to purchase fidelity insurance not later than the time of the first conveyance of a unit to a person other than the developer and to keep the insurance in place each year thereafter; requiring the fidelity insurance to provide for the indemnification of the common ownership community against loss resulting from specified acts or omissions of specified persons.

SB 559 - Real Property - Restrictions - Clotheslines or Other Laundry Drying Devices – See HB 443 prior post.

SB 727/HB 983 - Recordation and Transfer Tax - Controlling Interest Transfers - Altering the definition of real property entity under the controlling interest transfer tax to remove a requirement that the entity own real property of at least $1,000,000 value; requiring the articles of organization of a limited liability company to include the name and address of specified organizers, members, managers, and authorized persons.

For details on each, please visit the Maryland General Assembly website.