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Maryland Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Environmental for Maryland on
Q: I cut my neighbor's tree in his backyard close to my property, without the Montgomery county (MD) permit?

the neighbor gave me a verbal authorization to cut the tree. Can the county fine me for cutting the tree without a permit?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Apr 15, 2021

Permits are only required for removal of trees in a county right-of-way or in a designated forest conservation area. Trimming trees wholly within the yard of a private property owner does not require a permit.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Roommate not on lease leaving without notice.

I stay in a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 flatmates in Maryland. K and N split a room between themselves and I stay in the smaller room. N and me are on the lease and K was supposed to be added. The request was made to the leasing company, K abruptly announced that she is leaving (without finding a... Read more »

Leonard A Englander
Leonard A Englander answered on Mar 29, 2021

As to the roommate on the lease, you have some options. If she abandons the lease, you would have legal recourse to sue her for damages incurred (ie. her half of the rent).

As to the other one... that's a lot trickier, as she's not technically on the lease, which means you would...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What is the best way for four families to build one shared residence?

We and three other families intend to sell our homes when our kids go to college and build one large custom home on acreage. Should we form some manner of legal entity to pool our money and deal with the builder, etc.?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 26, 2021

Best way is not to do this. If someone wants or needs out, or life events happen (divorce, death, severe health issues, long-term nursing care needs and Medicaid qualification, to name but a few), then you’ve got a mess on your hands. That’s separate from all the headaches of shares use,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If I’m in default on my second mortgage can I refinance if it’s been in default for nine Years
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Mar 23, 2021

Sure, if you and the second mortgage company can agree on the terms. After 9 years, there's going to be an enormous balance due with interest and late fees added on, plus the full balance has been accelerated. It is also possible the debt has been sold and assigned to anther creditor. I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: to take possesion of my parents land as the sole heir i am out of state can i do an out of state bond? the land is in

alabama and i live in md she did not have a will.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 23, 2021

You need an Alabama estate lawyer. The requirements for a non-resident executor of an estate usually involves appointment of a person in Alabama to act as resident agent for the executor for service of legal papers. Because the estate involves real estate, and you cannot easily travel to Alabama... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: If I am unmarried and own a house (on title and mortgage) with with my ex-boyfriend am I entitled to half the equity?

There was no agreement in writing when we bought the home on who pays what. He is keeping the home and wants me to sign off.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Feb 11, 2021

This is such a common issue. When love fails, it often leaves a forced business partnership that must be terminated.

If you are on title, you are a co-owner. If you were unmarried, it is possible that the deed designates what percentage of ownership you were granted, if not 50%....
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Maryland on
Q: Questions about state v. federal antidiscrimination laws in homeowner's associations, contracts

I need lawyers to review several related but different issues

Review an implied written contract between owner and Homeowner’s association for compensation when the HOA is incorrect.

Review complaints for ADA and FHA (housing laws) against an HOA, and help prosecute in Court.... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 10, 2021

The terms of service for Justia prohibit lawyers from soliciting business here. The web site is for general information and access to justice. I've often written, however, on how to find a lawyer. I’ve written this same answer several times on Quora, and I don’t have enough time to rewrite... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can you tell me the minimum and maximum number of payout to real estate clients. And payout penalties of guilty salesper

I am practicing to take my real estate exam and want clarity on guaranty fund and the money amounts involved in payouts.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 9, 2021

A consumer may make a claim for up to $50,000 against the Guaranty Fund on account of an allowed claim against a real estate agent or broker. The Maryland Real Estate Commission can separately pursue disciplinary action against an agent or broker for violation of the ethical standards, and impose... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: do I HAVE to agree to a free, new well drilled for me (as required by co) so a company can build next door?

I like things the way they are, and can afford to pay for a new well myself should I ever need it.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 6, 2021

I know of no way to generalize to give you decent advice without reviewing the survey, running a title search for easements, and understanding exactly what the developer wants and needs. Generally, however, you do not need to agree with anything on your land unless your neighbor has an easement to... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: Questions about selling an inherited house

I inherited a house in Maryland. The estate is in probate and I'm the executor and sole heir (I will be filling for modified administration). As I understand it, the house can be sold either by the estate or deeded to me first before the sale. For both options, when exactly in the probate... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 6, 2021

You can amend the inventory value based either on the tax assessed value or an appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser (not just a real estate agent doing a valuation—must be a certified appraisal). The tax basis in the Property is fixed as of the date of death regardless of whether the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: (Is It A Hate Crime) If The Owner Breaks Into The Land That Is By Adverse Possession. And And Changes The Locks.

Can I File Criminal And Civil Charges Against The Owner Of The Land/Building I Adverse Possess. I Changed All The Locks And Put A New Chain And Lock On The Gate. But The Owner Keeps Breaking In And Changing The Locks. That Is A Hate Crime Based On (Law!) ? And .... ....

Laws & Legal... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 4, 2021

You have got to be kidding, right? First, a hate crime involves "race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or national origin," and you mentioned none of the above. Second, if you are breaking and entering on the property of another, it is you who is: "damag[ing] the real... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am buyer. Seller did not disclosed information about solar panel contract. Can I refuse to buy and get my depositback

Do I need an attorney or it can be mediated?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Feb 2, 2021

Need more facts. What, exactly, is the non-disclosure? That warranty repairs were limited to manufacturer warranties? That disputes under the solar panel contract can only be resolved by binding arbitration in Chester County, PA? Or that the solar panels have a balance due with 48 monthly... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What details and clauses should be added in a Real Estate Assignment Contract and Purchase Agreement?

I want to ensure that I am following all laws and legal requirements. In order to ensure that I won't be liable for anything.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 26, 2021

The chances that you can draft a solid real estate purchase agreement from a checklist of clauses is precisely zero, and any effort to help you in doing that would, in my opinion, make the lawyer a participant in your negligence. There are perfectly good contract forms that are regionally specific... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Title company telling me I need to redeem ground rent. Is this true? Ground rent is not registered.

I am purchasing a renovated,previously vacant home in Bmore. The home was previously purchased by the Mayor and city via condemn- immed. Title and posses., then purchased by and investor who renovated it. My title company told me that I need to redeem a ground rent that was on a deed from 1967... Read more »

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jan 23, 2021

Your confusion is understandable. Many don't apprehend that a leasehold property has TWO chains of title. One for the leasehold (what you purchased), and another for the reversionary interest (what you ground rent landlords own).

Non-registration doesn't strip the ground rent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: A house has been taken by the city for condemnation, am I subject to civil act from the previous owner for ground rent?

I’m the new purchaser but my title company won’t clear the title because of a ground rent deed from 1967. Even though the property was taken by Baltimore City and the previous owner was paid simple fee for it.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 23, 2021

Ground rents in Baltimore City are a particular PITA, and, even though I am a real estate lawyer, a title agent, and a former real estate broker, I would not touch the issue without reviewing the abstract, reviewing with underwriter's counsel who had special knowledge of Baltimore ground... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Who is responsible for providing a 1099-S for sale of residential property?

How do I know if I need to file a 1099-S or if I am exempt from doing so?

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 19, 2021

The IRS has a publication to answer this question, available at https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1099s The same publication also outlines what transfers are exempt from reporting.

Generally, at a typical "full" settlement where one person is buying the property from...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I'm Adverse Possess A Building The Owner Broke In And Three Outher Who Are Workers With Him And Stole Things

I Needed Regarding The Adverse Possession (No Trespassing Signs)/ Heaters 4 Trash Bags Tools And So On. I Called The Police And They Didn't Lock Them Up. And And I Went To The Police Commissioner And And They Declined My Application Of Statement Of Charges.With The Police Complain Police... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 16, 2021

Adverse possession is a defense, not a claim. If you have possessed the property openly adversely continuously and hostilely for 20 years in Maryland, the title owner may not maintain an action to eject you. There is no "adverse possessing a building." Until the 20 years passes, you own... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What is the best way to add a son and remove the deceased mother from the title for an owned home in MD?

Son is already in the will but the father is planning to remarry some time this year.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 14, 2021

To give a clear answer an attorney would first need to verify the titling of the existing deed. Assuming the parents owned as "tenants by the entirety," title would legally be in the surviving father's name after his wife died. If the surviving parent owner wants to make sure... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Environmental, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Is It Illegal Not To Have Water From The City Regarding Adverse Possession And Is It By The Owner Or The Adverse Possess

I Have No Water And The Owner's Water Is Cut Off Long Sense And $6000 Pass Due I Contacted The City Regarding But Never

A Answer It Regarded Having The Water Bill Put In The Title Name Or My Name Regarding Adverse Possession And And That I Was The Adverse Possesser.

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jan 7, 2021

The solution to your issue depends on your status as an occupier of the land. How did you enter the property? Are you a tenant with a lease? One without a lease? Did the owner invite you? Did you enter via trespass? What is your relation to the owner?

How the water bill is titled is an...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Child Support for Maryland on
Q: If a house is sold in a tax auction in Maryland, what happens to the liens on the house?

House was legally auctioned off at tax sale and the plaintiff is in the process of foreclosing the right to redemption. Current owner (defendant) of the house has no mortgage; the deed is in their name alone. This house/owner has a child support lien on it by the State of Maryland for over $30,000... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jan 5, 2021

Property tax liens tend to have super priority, meaning they stand first in line before most other kinds of liens. This means that in most cases, if proper notice is given, a tax sale foreclosure case wipes out the other liens and transfers the property free and clear of lesser liens.... Read more »

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