GROUND RENT REFORM
The General Assembly has passed most bills in a package to reform Maryland's ground rent system. They include:
A prohibition on new ground rents. Passed by the General Assembly and signed yesterday by Gov. Martin O'Malley.
A ban on the use of ejectment, a process by which ground rent owners can take ownership of houses in cases where homeowners owe back ground rent. Passed by the General Assembly.
Conversion of 19th-century ground rents to allow homeowners to buy them out. Passed by the General Assembly.
A requirement that ground rent holders issue regular bills to homeowners. Passed by the General Assembly.
The creation of a state ground rent registry. Passed by the General Assembly.
Financial help for homeowners seeking to buy out ground rents. Passed by the House, under consideration by a Senate committee.
A requirement that home purchasers be notified of the existence of a ground rent at the time of sale. Passed by the House; no companion bill in the Senate.
Limits on the amount of back rent an owner can collect for a property owned by the city of Baltimore. Passed by the General Assembly.