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Maryland Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: What specific MD law requires addendum to a Real Estate contract to change my name from individual to my family trust
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on Jul 13, 2020

It is not a specific law in the code, it is the principle that a contract must identify the real party in interest. Your contract does or does not have assignment language. Beware, not all contracts are assignable. If yours has the language, it can be assigned.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Uncle owns 1/2 of condo in ocean cityMD, he wants to sell. Property has been paid for by him, and abondoned for 2yrs.

Made several attempts to contact other owner and nothing. Other guy owes $50,000 in back pay. What can we do?

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 9, 2020

File suit for sale in lieu of partition and serve the other owner in the manner prescribed by Maryland law, which will be alternative service after first reasonable attempts have failed. Add a count for contribution. In Maryland, venue is a defense, so the claim does not need to be filed in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Who pays the county & state transfer fees when the buyer is a first-time MD home buyer & the seller is an estate?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 2, 2020

MD Code, Real Property, § 14-104 provides, in relevant part:

Payment of recordation and transfer taxes of homes sold to first-time Maryland home buyers

(c)(1) The entire amount of recordation tax and local transfer tax shall be paid by the seller of improved, residential real...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: The estate consists only of a home in MD. When selling it, does the estate have to pay county & state transfer fees?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jul 2, 2020

Someone has to pay the doc prep., transfer taxes, and release and recordation fees. Usually, that is split with almost all going to the buyer, and the seller’s main expense is the brokerage commission for both sides.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: My aunt and uncle are deceased. They have one living son. Property has never changed names from aunt and uncles.

My cousin would like to sign property over to me. They had no will. What steps need to be taken to do this. Property has no liens or mortgages. I have paid land taxes for over ten years.i live in the property and have all my life. Cousin has no interest in owning home.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jun 22, 2020

An estate will need to be opened. If a married couple owned the property as "tenants by the entirety" when the first one died, title should have gone to the survivor of them. (If they owned title differently there may be a need for two estates).

In many cases an estate will...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: In maryland can my brothers wife ( pending divorce). Take the home of his deceased parents?

My aunt and uncle raised me. And have one biological son. My uncle died 2003 my aunt 2016. I was never legally adopted. My cousin( their son). Wants to sign their property over to me. Him and his wife are getting a divorce. She has threatened to take half of his deceased parents home. They do have... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 21, 2020

No. Property which one spouse inherits alone is not marital property subject to division with the non-inheriting spouse. The only scenarios where your cousin’s spouse could make a claim are (1) if your cousin were to add his wife to the title; or (2) if your cousin were to make mortgage payments... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Duplex house roof is leaking around shared chimney. Neighbor says it's my responsibility to fix it.

Two years ago I replaced the roof on my half. My roofer flashed three sides of the chimney. Last month I received a letter from the owner of the adjacent building that after a heavy rain, water leaked into his house. His insurance looked at the damage and took pictures and indicated that the... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 9, 2020

You cannot be responsible for flashing on his roof, if that's what would be required to install or replace flashing on that side of the chimney. Also, his homeowner's insurance is responsible for repairing any interior damage due to leaks. I recommend that you have your roofer come out... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I shop for an owners title policy...the only option I am being given is the settlement firm's owners policy???

I just purchased a residence for 605k in Maryland (no mortgage)

I asked the settlement co what the fee would be for the owners title policy and they quoted me $3265 (Chicago Title)

I thought that was rather high and would like to know if I could directly shop prices with Title... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jun 9, 2020

I’m not sure how that would work. The title agent closing the transaction is mostly paid from the commission on the title insurance. If you buy lenders title from one and owners title from another title agent, I think you pay for two closings. Many title agents represent more than one... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I gave a security deposit to secure an apt before signing a lease. I no longer want the apartment. Can I get it back?

I'm wondering even if no one takes the apartment, can he really just keep the money even if i didn't breech the lease since I didn't sign one?

Is there specific maryland law about how the money can be used and if not used in a specific way must be returned?... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jun 4, 2020

If you are in Rockville, tell him you are about to call the Landlord Tenant Office <https://www.rockvillemd.gov/259/Landlord-Tenant-Complaints>. Then, do so. If the community in which you live has a landlord tenant office, call them. If not, you'll need to sue in Maryland District Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can an HOA install cameras without the consent of all homeowners and tenants (privacy concern).

If they are installed in places places that peer into places on homeowner properties that are covered by reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g. patios, porches, windows, etc.)

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jun 3, 2020

I doubt your HOA documents provide that unanimous consent of all homeowners is required before they can take any actions. However, that does not mean they can necessarily act with impunity or infringe on privacy rights. Your HOA is made up of you and your fellow owners. You elect the Board who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Hello, what can I legally do to get the leasing office to deal with the many noise complaints I’ve sent in?

I work an over night job and my neighbor above me leaves his young kids in the house alone early in the morning around 9 am for multiple hours a day multiple times a day, I get in the house at 7 am and cannot sleep cause of so much noise over my head, I’ve sent video recordings of the noise,... Read more »

Diana Valle
Diana Valle answered on May 25, 2020

If you have evidence of the noise being caused, and it rises to the level of disrupting your right to peace and enjoyment of your residence, you could file a nuisance complaint against your neighbor. The more evidence you have then the better. The judge would then decide based on the evidence... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How do I prove that the people who bought my house got over on me?

So I sold my house as is and we had to do everything thru video call cause the virus has closed everything down so I had the one hud paper then after I sign the paper they sent me another hud paper thru email and instead of getting the $19 thousand and some change they changed it to me getting... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on May 25, 2020

The rest of your statement didn't appear in the question as it was first presented to me. But, the answer still requires that someone go over the HUD-1 with you. That someone should have been the title agent, but the title agent is selected by the buyer. You may have needed your own lawyer if... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: How can you do a deed in lieu of Foreclosure if your home was included in a ch.7 bankruptcy?

The ch.7 was discharged two years ago and wasnt reaffirmed. I want to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure to get the lien out of my name. Will the deed in lieu be on my credit report if the house was included in the ch. 7, discharged two years ago and never reaffirmed?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on May 21, 2020

If you discharged the mortgage obligation in a Chapter 7, you are no longer personally liable on the debt; however, the lien of the mortgage remains on the property. You do not have to do anything in this scenario. Many debtors discharge their personal liability on a mortgage load but continue to... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Maryland on
Q: As personal representative of closed estate should l sell house even if 3 heirs want to keep house in family?

There are 6 heirs. There is no more money to pay taxes, repairs etc. 3 heirs want to stop sale. I want to sell asap as is

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet answered on May 1, 2020

If the house is still in the name of the decedent, then the Estate is not yet closed. But the Personal Representative has broad powers to administer the assets of the Estate and make distributions according to the Will or laws that apply when there is no Will. If the house must be sold, then... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: I own a sngl-mbr LLC (reg'd in FL). I own a home in MD. I want to rent it entirely to my LLC to operate business. Legal?

Is it legal for me to rent out my Maryland state home to my LLC (Registered in FL)? My LLC's principle address is the same as my Maryland home, but now I want to rent the home entirely to the LLC and move out. I would live somewhere else, but use the home for business purposes only. Given the... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on May 1, 2020

I agree with Mr. Blackburn that it is perfectly legal, but I don't think it accomplishes what you are trying to accomplish. If the LLC you form is a passthrough entity with partnership taxation, then the formation is a wash. The rental income passes through to you after writing off the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Maryland on
Q: There is a 10 ft driveway between me and my neighbor but my neighbor he is saying this is his area

In my property on the right side there is a 10 ft driveway and also pipe line at the beginning of this 10 ft area this water pipe belongs to my house and it’s on the survey, but now a days my neighbor is using the area as a parking lot for his cars, when I talked to him he said this 10 ft area... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 29, 2020

1. Get a survey.

2. Send him a No Trespass letter to get off your land.

3. Hire a lawyer to get him off your land.

Or,

1. Wait the time in the statute of limitations for adverse possession while doing nothing.

2. Pay a lawyer a ton of money to defend his...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can my HOA decline my request to display the US flag on a flag pole in the state of Maryland? Flag pole is 20 feet tall

Flag is 3x5

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Apr 28, 2020

The HOA can require you to follow its rules, and neither flags nor images of religious icons change that. To determine whether the HOA is following its rules, retain counsel to review the Declarations, and the rules and rulings of the HOA.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Are landlords allowed to go & maintain rental properties under the stay-at-home order in MD, if properties are vacant?

Tenants are moving out, but as an owner/landlord, I need to switch out locks, clean, and maintain the residential rental property. As an owner, if my rental home is vacated, am I allowed to go, under the current COVID-19 MD stay-at-home order?

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Apr 21, 2020

At the outset, we are working under a totally new set of rules and while attorneys can attempt a reasonable stab at interpretation, no one has had the ability to see how things would play out if challenged. Under the Maryland order, employees and owners generally may go on-site to non-essential... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a mortgage company add fees to the loan that raises the balance, but not list the amount of the fee

Our mortgage was sold last year to another lender, and the new Servicer inflated the loan balance, but not listing the amount or what it is for

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Apr 17, 2020

A lender can only charge what fees the loan documents allow. While a borrower should carefully check the paperwork signed, normally if a mortgage is being paid on time the only charges allowed by the loan documents will be principal and interest plus any escrows (taxes/insurance). A borrower... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a tenant legally remain in a property that is being sold?

I am in the process of buying a house. The house is currently occupied by tenants. The tenants were given notice of the home being sold by the sellers on April 1st, giving them 30 days to move out. The tenant refused to let our inspector inside the house due to COVID-19 risk, but agreed that the... Read more »

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Apr 15, 2020

There are two intertwined questions in the scenario. First, can a tenant "legally" refuse to leave if their lease is up and they've been given proper notice? Assuming the appropriate notice has in fact been given, legally, "No."

That said, the second and...
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