Baltimore, MD asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: Am I responsible for water and sewer charges that were charged to the builder? I'm being sued over front foot fees.

These fees were not disclosed at our closing and now were being taken to court over what doesn't seem like a legitimate charge.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Cedulie Renee Laumann

Answered
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Generally front foot assessments go with the property and become an obligation of the new owner (the same way HOA fees or property tax obligations would). Typically these payments last up to 30 years after a new development is built. That being said, both the contract and the closing paperwork should reveal the existence of front foot assessments.

If the Seller NEVER disclosed the front foot assessment, didn't put anything in the Contract and failed to notify in any of the settlement papers, you may have a basis for charging the Seller with these fees. Closings tend to have a LOT of paperwork, so before attempting to go after a Seller it would be wise to go over the contract and other paperwork carefully to make sure there wasn't an overlooked disclosure.

The relevant law is at Md. Ann Code, Real Property article, section 14-117

While not legal advice, I hope that this general information helps.

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