A ground rent law was upheld by the Court of Appeals, meaning that ground rent owners can foreclose on a home and get the full amount of proceeds should the ground rent be in default.
According to an article by Timothy B. Wheeler and Jamie Smith-Hopkins in The Baltimore Sun,
“The Court of Appeals ruled that the law violated the rights of “ground-rent” owners by taking away their ability to seize and sell the homes of tenants who don’t pay, then keep the proceeds. Allowing owners to bring foreclosure proceedings instead was not a reasonable substitute, the court said.”
I have written about the ground rent law, and registry, and lawsuits over ground rent in Baltimore.
In 2007, a law was passed not allowing ground rent owners to seize properties, sell them, and then take the full proceeds from the house. In 2011, that was overturned. The ruling on 2/26/14 upheld the 2011 ruling, and states that 2007 law was taking away ground rent owners’ constitutional rights.
There are still those who are fighting this law, as homeowners who haven’t paid a few hundred dollars in ground rent could potentially lose their homes worth hundreds of thousands, with the ground rent owner getting the full value of the sale of the house.
I will keep following this as it continues to develop.
For now, you can read more about the ground rent decision in this Baltimore Sun article. It is very detailed and explains much more in depth what has happened, and what it entails.
If you have a Baltimore ground rent property, make sure to pay your ground rent. If you are not sure if you have a ground rent, you will need to check your deed!
A few of my past articles about ground rent in Baltimore:
Photo Courtesy of DonkeyHotey via Flickr CC