Follow-up coverage: Ground rent

6:31 AM EST, November 11, 2011

Ground rents that had been canceled are resurrected

Fells Point resident Andrew Newhouse is one of hundreds of homeowners who took advantage of a new law that allowed them to effectively cancel ground rents on land beneath their houses — a vestige of Colonial times that had led to some people losing properties over small unpaid sums.

7:56 PM EST, November 8, 2011

Ground lease holders challenge state law

Another challenge by ground rent holders to Maryland's 2007 reform laws has been revived, with lease holders claiming that a state law unconstitutionally diminished the value of their property by making collection of payments costly and difficult to enforce.

9:06 PM EDT, October 25, 2011

Controversial part of ground rent law overturned

Maryland's highest court has overturned the most controversial part of the state's new ground rent law, throwing out the section that takes ownership of ground leases away from owners who fail to register them with the state.

March 12, 2009

Leeway sought on ground rents

Community activists are urging Maryland lawmakers to allow nonprofit groups to use ground leases to provide affordable housing, a move that some say will return a ground rent system marred by abuses in recent years to its intended purpose.

March 1, 2009

Judge throws out part of ground rent suit

1 A judge has thrown out part of a lawsuit filed by ground rent owners challenging a 2007 state law intended to halt abuses in the system, but allowed their constitutional challenge to move forward.

May 20, 2008

U.S. judge sends ground rent suit back to state

A federal judge said yesterday that he thought Maryland's ground rent law had been due for an overhaul because ground rent holders were able to eject homeowners for overdue rents and gain the entire value of their houses.

May 19, 2008

Ground rent reform faces test in U.S. court today

Maryland's ground rent reform faces a key test in federal court today as the state seeks to dismiss a case filed by dozens of the largest holders.

November 2, 2007

Ground rent owners sue for compensation

Dozens of Maryland's largest holders of ground rents sued the state yesterday, seeking compensation that could exceed $400 million, contending that ground rent reform laws effectively seized their property.

July 12, 2007

Sun follow-up

Rush to ejectment criticized

Leaders of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, which for years served as an advocate for ground rent owners, are criticizing some of them for rushing to seize houses of delinquent rent-payers ahead of a recent change in state law and are proposing to help affected homeowners.

July 1, 2007

Sun follow-up

Ground-rent owners rush to file suits

Even though a state law ending ground-rent ejectments takes effect today, Baltimore residents will for years face the prospect of having their homes seized by investors or being hit with large fees over small unpaid land debts. About 775 cases - some dating to 2003 - are pending in Baltimore Circuit Court, including more than 300 new ones filed in June as ground-rent owners rushed to get cases logged in under the old law. There were 154 lawsuits filed on Friday alone.

June 26, 2007

Sun follow-up

Ground rent suit is filed

A trustee for a ground rent owner has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of new laws intended to reform a system that had cost hundreds of people their homes.

February 14, 2007

Ground rent bill due final votes

Final votes on a bill that would prohibit the creation of new ground rents, emerging as one of the major issues in this General Assembly session, are scheduled for tomorrow.

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