Relating to Real Estate

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Relating to Real Estate Special Edition: 2017 Maryland Real Property Legislation

Below are summaries of legislation affecting real property that was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2017.  These have been arranged by Article of the Maryland Code in the following order:  Real Property, Tax-Property, Agriculture, Business Occupations and Professions, Business Regulation, Commercial Law, Local Government, and Public Utilities.

The full text of each of the bills referred to below as well as the other bills that were introduced this year can be found on the Maryland General Assembly’s website

If you are interested in legislation affecting financial service providers, please see Maryland Laws Update 2017 published by Gordon Feinblatt’s Financial Services Team.

Quick Links to new laws that relate to the following articles of the Maryland Code:

Contacts:

Please call or email us if you would like more information about these new laws and their impact on your business.

Timothy D. A. Chriss
(410) 576-4237
David H. Fishman
(410) 576-4234
Edward J. Levin, Chair
(410) 576-1900
Searle E. Mitnick
(410) 576-4107
Peter B. Rosenwald, II
(410) 576-4193
Seth M. Rotenberg
(410) 576-4179
Neil J. Schechter
(410) 576-4236
William D. Shaughnessy, Jr.
(410) 576-4092
Y. Jeffrey Spatz
(410) 576-4124
Danielle S. Zoller
(410) 576-4036
   

2017 Maryland Real Property Legislation

REAL PROPERTY ARTICLE

1. Chapters 520 and 521 (SB 376/HB 595) 

Mortgages and Deeds of Trust - Prerequisites to Recording
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 3–104(f)(1)

Under existing law deeds, mortgages, and deeds of trust must contain a certification that the instrument was prepared by an attorney or a party to the instrument.  These Acts amend this requirement, providing that a mortgage, deed of trust, assignment of a mortgage or deed of trust, or release of a mortgage or deed of trust does not need the preparation certification.  Additionally, these Acts clarify that, with respect to preparation by an attorney, the attorney must be admitted to the Maryland Bar and that preparation “under the attorney’s supervision” includes review of the instrument by the certifying attorney.

Effective October 1, 2017.

2. Chapter 817 (HB 34)

Real Property - Homeowners Associations - Resale of Lot - Inspection Fees
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 11B–106

This Act provides that, in addition to the maximum $250 fee and any related expedited service fees presently authorized by statute, a homeowners association may impose a reasonable fee of up to $50 for conducting an inspection in connection with the resale of a lot if the inspection is required by the governing documents of the homeowners association.

Effective October 1, 2017.

3. Chapter 480 (HB 789)

Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Amendment of Governing Documents
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 11–104(e) and 11B–116

This Act authorizes the council of unit owners of a condominium or a homeowners association (HOA) to amend the condominium bylaws or HOA governing document by, with respect to a condominium, the affirmative vote of unit owners in good standing having at least 60% of the votes in the council, or by a lower percentage if required in the bylaws, or with respect to an HOA, the affirmative vote of lot owners in good standing having at least 60% of the votes in the development, or by a lower percentage if required in the governing document.  These provisions are applicable even if the respective governing documents of the condominium or HOA provide otherwise.  The Act defines “in good standing” as not being more than 90 days in arrears in the payment of any assessment or charge due to the condominium or HOA.  The Act does not apply to an HOA that issues bonds or other long-term debt secured in whole or in part by annual charges assessed in accordance with its governing document or to a village or community association affiliated with that HOA.

Effective October 1, 2017.

4. Chapter 481 (SB 809)

Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Sales of Common Elements and Common Areas
Real Property Article adding Section 11–108(d) and 11B–106.2

This Act requires that the governing body of a condominium or homeowners association (HOA) (or if control has not yet transitioned to unit owners or lot owners, the developer or declarant, as the case may be), in the event of a proposed sale (including a tax sale) of any common element or common area, to provide notice to the unit owners or lot owners no less than 30 days before the sale.  The notice requirement may be satisfied by providing written notice to each unit owner or lot owner or by posting a specified sign on the property to be sold and, if the condominium or HOA has a website, providing notice on the website.

Effective October 1, 2017.

5. Chapters 348 and 349 (SB 875/HB 1048)

Residential Property - Notice of Foreclosure
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 7–105.2

This Act provides that a person authorized to sell residential real property subject to a foreclosure must file with the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) certain information concerning the property.  The information provided to DLLR includes basic information, such as the property’s address, tax identification number, whether the property is vacant, and if known, the owner’s contact information.  The new notice required under the Act must be filed within seven days of filing the foreclosure order to docket.  DLLR will provide the form of the notice. The Act increases the compliance burden for the party conducting the foreclosure, but it should not prove to be overly burdensome. 

Delayed effective date of October 1, 2018.

6. Chapters 347 and 346 (SB 247/HB 26)

Real Property - Notices of Foreclosure Sale and Postponement or Cancellation of Foreclosure Sale
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 7–105.2

These Acts expand upon the existing written notice requirements necessary for a residential foreclosure sale.  In addition to the existing duty to provide notice of the time, place, and terms of a foreclosure sale to the record owner of the subject property, the Acts require the person authorized to conduct a foreclosure sale to give written notice to a condominium or homeowners association that recorded a statement of lien under the Maryland Contract Lien Act at least 30 days before the proposed sale date.  Additionally, in the event the foreclosure sale is postponed or cancelled, the person authorized to conduct the foreclosure sale must give notice of the postponement or cancellation within 14 days thereafter to the record owner and, if applicable, to the condominium or homeowners association.  Under current law, the person conducting a foreclosure is not required to provide notice of the postponement or cancellation of a sale.

Effective October 1, 2017.  These Acts apply to any foreclosure sale scheduled to occur on or after the effective date.

7. Chapters 617 (SB 1033/HB 702)

Residential Property - Vacant and Abandoned Property - Expedited Foreclosure
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 7–105.1(b); adding Section 7–105.14

This Act sets forth procedures for secured parties to ask the court to proceed with an expedited foreclosure of abandoned or vacant residential real property.  If the deed of trust has been in default for at least 120 days and the secured party can establish certain other indicia of abandonment (such as boarded up windows, disconnected utilities, the absence of furnishings, accumulated litter, or destruction or vandalism of the property), the secured party may petition the court for an expedited foreclosure.  If the court grants the petition, then the secured party may proceed with an expedited foreclosure pursuant to which it avoids the usual requirements in a foreclosure of residential property, including possible mediation and certain notice requirements. Essentially, if the court grants the petition for immediate foreclosure, the foreclosure will proceed like a foreclosure of commercial real property rather than residential property.

Practice Point:  This Act will allow secured parties to avoid the extended amount of time and high expenses typically associated with foreclosure of residential abandoned properties.  Importantly, taking the actions described in this Act is voluntary.  A secured party may always follow the normal requirements for residential property foreclosures even if the property is vacant or abandoned.

Effective October 1, 2017 and applies prospectively with no effect on any order to docket or complaint to foreclose filed before its effective date.

8. Chapters 704 and 705 (SB 49/HB 851)

Landlord and Tenant - Military Personnel - Limitation on Liability for Rent
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 8–212.1

These Acts provide for a limitation on liability under a residential lease for a person on active duty with the U.S. military who experiences a “change of assignment.”  If a person on active duty with the U.S. military, or the person’s spouse, enters into a residential lease and the person subsequently receives a change of assignment, as defined in the Acts, any liability of the person or the person’s spouse under the lease is limited to the following: any rent or other lawful charges then due plus 30 days’ rent and the cost to repair any property damage caused by an act or omission of the tenant.  The 30-day limit commences when written notice and proof of the change of assignment are given to the landlord. The provisions apply regardless of whether the change of assignment occurs before or after the property is occupied.

Effective October 1, 2017.

9. Chapter 542 (HB 44)

Residential Property - Ground Lease Registration Forms - Contact Information Option
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 8–704

As a result of this law, the ground lease holder registration forms made available by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) will be revised to allow ground lease holders, at their option, to include their telephone number and email address.

Effective October 1, 2017.

10. Chapter 595 (SB 487)

Baltimore City - Residential Ground Leases - Abandoned Property
Real Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 8–806(c)

Under current law, recovery of delinquent ground rent on property in Baltimore City is limited to three years’ past-due ground rent if the property is owned or acquired by Baltimore City and is abandoned or distressed property as defined in the law.  This Act prohibits a ground rent holder from bringing an action to recover back ground rent from a current leasehold owner if the prior leasehold owner failed to make all payments of ground rent and if the property is abandoned property, as defined in the Public Local Laws of Baltimore City.  The bill also allows a ground rent holder of abandoned or distressed property to request in writing that the owner of the leasehold acquire the reversionary interest for the market value of such ground rent established at the time the leasehold owner acquired leasehold title.

Effective October 1, 2017.

TAX-PROPERTY ARTICLE

11. Chapters 242 and 243 (SB 753/HB 861)

Tax Sales - Foreclosure of Right of Redemption - Naming of Defendants
Tax – Property Article adding Section 14–836(b)(8)

This Act sets forth procedures for a tax sale foreclosure plaintiff to name a defendant when the plaintiff has reason to believe that the defendant is deceased.  If the plaintiff knows of the deceased defendant’s personal representative, the plaintiff must join the personal representative as a defendant to the tax sale foreclosure action. If the plaintiff does not know the deceased defendant’s personal representative, the plaintiff must file an affidavit to that effect and join the deceased defendant’s successors as defendants, as well as the deceased defendant.  This Act should bring greater certainty to tax sale purchasers pursuing foreclosure and reduce future challenges to tax sale foreclosures. 

Effective October 1, 2017.

12. Chapter 615 (HB 1573)

Prince George's County - Tax Sales - Limited Auction and Foreclosure for Abandoned Property PG 411-17
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Sections 14–817, 14–821, and 14–833(c); adding Section 14–833(h)

This bill sets forth procedures for a limited auction for tax sales in Prince George’s County.  The limited auction will occur prior to any public auction and will only be open to residents of Prince George’s County and certain groups of Prince George’s County public employees, including police department employees, federal government employees, veterans, and public school employees.  The person who obtains a tax sale certificate at the limited auction cannot assign the certificate to another party.  A participant in the limited auction can only bid in his or her individual capacity. 

Effective July 1, 2017.

13. Chapters 63 and 64 (SB 111/HB 363)

Recordation and Transfer Taxes - Exemptions - Property Conveyed From Sole Proprietorship to Limited Liability Company
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Sections 12–108(y) and 12–117(a)(6)(i) and (c)(1)

These Acts exempt from recordation and transfer taxes the transfer of real property from a sole proprietorship that converts to a limited liability company if the sole member of the limited liability company is identical to the converting sole proprietor and other relevant exemption conditions are met.  The other requirements are that the member’s allocation of profits and losses in the limited liability company must be identical to the member’s allocation of profits and losses of the converting sole proprietorship and the deed represents the dissolution of the sole proprietorship for purposes of conversion.  A sole proprietorship includes an individual who owns an interest in real property in the individual’s name.  These Acts also specify that the transfer of a controlling interest in a limited liability company that is the product of a prior, untaxed conversion from a sole proprietorship is subject to recordation and transfer taxes.

Effective July 1, 2017.

14. Chapter 538 (HB 469)

Recordation and Transfer Tax - Principal Residence Surrendered in Bankruptcy - Exemption
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Sections 13–207(a)(23) and (24); adding Section 12–108(gg), 13–207(a)(25), and 13–413

This Act exempts from recordation and transfer taxes the recordation of a deed transferring residential real property to the secured party under a purchase money deed of trust when the property was the grantor’s principal residence and the property was surrendered to the secured party in connection with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Effective July 1, 2017.

15. Chapter 239 (HB 351)

Property Tax - Homestead Property Tax Credit Percentage – Deadlines
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments, Sections 2–205(c) and 9–105(e)

This Act extends the deadline by which Baltimore City and county governments (from November 15 to March 15) and municipalities (from November 25 to March 25) must set or alter the homestead property tax credit percentage in a taxable year and then notify the SDAT of any changes. The bill authorizes the SDAT to recalculate the constant yield tax rate if a county or municipality changes the homestead tax credit percentage.  Finally, the Act requires assessment notices to include a statement that the taxable assessment may change if a county or municipality changes the homestead tax credit percentage and that the final taxable assessment will be stated on the next property tax bill.

Effective June 1, 2017, and applies to taxable years beginning after June 30, 2018.

16. Chapter 241 (HB 1323)

Property Tax - Credit for Revitalization Districts
Tax – Property Article adding Section 9–259

This Act authorizes local governments to grant, by law, a property tax credit for a dwelling that is (1) located in a revitalization district; (2) owned by a homeowner who, on or after June 1, 2017, made substantial improvements to the dwelling in compliance with the code and laws applied to dwellings; and (3) reassessed at a higher value.  The property tax credit phases out over a five-year period. The bill specifies the value of the property tax credit as well as procedures for administering the property tax credit.

Effective June 1, 2017, and applies to taxable years beginning after June 30, 2017.

17. Chapter 529 (HB 1394)

Property Tax - Reassessment After Appeal
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments, Section 8–205

This Act prohibits the SDAT, when conducting a real property reassessment after an appeal, from automatically eliminating a reduction in an assessment of the property that was granted by a Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board or the Maryland Tax Court.  The SDAT may eliminate a reduction in the assessment that was granted if the specific reason for the reduction no longer applies. This Act codifies existing practice regarding the reassessment of properties after an appeal.

Effective October 1, 2017.

18. Chapter 530 (HB 1402)

Property Tax Appeals - Payment of Refunds – Deadline
Tax – Property Article Adding Section 14–516

This Act requires the tax collector to whom property tax was paid to make a full refund to a taxpayer within 30 days after the SDAT provides notice to the tax collector that an appeal authority has issued a decision that reduces the assessed value of property.  The notice must include a list of all properties for which an appeal authority has calculated that a taxpayer is due a refund as a result of a decision by the appeal authority to reduce the assessed value of the property.  An appeal authority includes a supervisor, the SDAT, the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB), the Maryland Tax Court, and any other court authorized to hear property tax appeals. 

Effective October 1, 2017.

19. Chapter 537 (HB 592)

Real Property Tax - Assessment Appeals Process
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting, without amendments, Sections 8–401(a) and (b) and 8–404

This Act requires the supervisor of assessments and the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Boards (PTAAB) to hold hearings on appeals regarding the value or classification of homeowner occupied residential real properties no later than 120 days after receiving the appeal unless a postponement is requested.  The supervisor of assessments must send a written notice of the final value or classification of a dwelling to the person making the appeal no later than 60 days after the appeal hearing.  PTAAB must send an order or notice of assessment of a dwelling to the person making the appeal no later than 30 days after making the appeal.

Effective January 1, 2018.

AGRICULTURE ARTICLE

20. Chapter 114 (HB 144)

Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation - Easement Termination
Agriculture Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Section 2–514

This Act modifies the process that governs the consideration and disposition of a request for easement termination of those agricultural preservation easements approved for purchase by the Board of Public Works (BPW) on or before September 30, 2004, based on extraordinary circumstances, after 25 years from the date of purchase.  The Act establishes a sequential process of review, and approval or denial, by first the governing body of the applicable county, then the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) board of trustees members at large, and finally the Secretary of Agriculture and the State Treasurer.  This contrasts with the existing concurrent review process.

Effective October 1, 2017.

21. Chapter 662 (SB 975)

Real Property - Agricultural Land Preservation Easements - Separate Parcels
Agriculture Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Section 2–118; adding Section 2–513.2

This Act establishes that, unless the deed granting an agricultural land preservation easement to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) expressly provides otherwise, the grant of an agricultural land preservation easement governing two or more separate parcels of land owned by the same grantor under separate deeds, or two or more parcels separately identified and described in the same deed, does not consolidate the parcels for any other purpose, if the parcels are described separately in the deed granting the easement.  A separate parcel may be conveyed to a “family member” (which term includes a relative by blood, adoption, or marriage) without the approval of MALPF, regardless of the size of the parcel, but it remains subject to the easement.  Such a conveyance is not a subdivision or off-conveyance.  The owner of the separate parcel must notify MALPF at least 60 days before conveying the parcel.  The Act applies retroactively to any agricultural land preservation easement granted to MALPF before the Act’s effective date.

Effective June 1, 2017 and terminates on June 30, 2019.

BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS ARTICLE 

22. Chapter 252 (HB 140)

State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors - Supervision of Appraiser Trainees
Business Occupations and Professions Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Sections 16–302(d)(2) and 16–503(b)(2)

This Act clarifies an existing requirement that an applicant for initial licensure or initial certification as a real estate appraiser by the State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors must have completed 2,000 hours of real estate appraiser services as a trainee under the supervision only of a certified appraiser and not a “licensed or certified” appraiser.

Effective October 1, 2017.

23. Chapter 350 (HB 760)

State Real Estate Commission - Real Estate Brokerage Services - Duties and Obligations
Business Occupations and Professions Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Section 17–532

This Act expands the list of specified actions by a licensee of the State Real Estate Commission that do not breach any duty or obligation to the client.  Under the Act, a licensee may discuss other properties with prospective buyers or lessees during an open house if the licensee has the written consent of the seller or lessor to do so.  Also, a licensee may show other available properties to a lessee without breaching any duty or obligation.

Effective October 1, 2017.

BUSINESS REGULATION ARTICLE

24. Chapter 255 (HB 248)

Maryland Home Improvement Commission - Special Fund and Fees
Business Regulation Article repealing and reenacting, with amendments Sections 8–210, 8–303(a) and (f), 8–308(d), 8–308.1(a), (e), and (f), and 8–620(a); adding Sections 2–106.9, 2–106.10, and 8–213; repealing Section 8–213

This Act establishes the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) Special Fund in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR).  The Act also repeals statutory licensing fees and instead authorizes MHIC to set fees by regulation.  Additionally, the Act redirects the licensing revenue associated with MHIC from the general fund to the new special fund.  Penalty revenue and investment earnings continue to accrue to the general fund.  Existing statutory fees remain in effect until new fees adopted by regulations of MHIC take effect.

Effective July 1, 2018.

COMMERCIAL LAW ARTICLE

25. Chapter 484 (SB 392)

Credit Regulation - Closed End Credit Loans - Elimination of Duplicative Disclosures
Commercial Law Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Sections 12–125 and 12–1022

Since 1989 Maryland has required licensed mortgage lenders and brokers to provide certain disclosures, commonly referred to as the Maryland financing agreement and Maryland commitment.  Failure to provide these disclosures can lead to regulatory penalties and civil liability.  Chapter 484 recognizes that much, if not all, of the information required to be disclosed in the Maryland financing agreement and Maryland commitment is found in required federal Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosures (TRID) for closed end mortgage credit.  This Act sets forth that disclosures provided by a licensee to a borrower in compliance with TRID will satisfy requirements under Maryland law to furnish a Maryland financing agreement or Maryland commitment.  This Act directs the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to monitor TRID requirements implemented by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and notify the Governor and the General Assembly if the Commissioner determines that federal disclosure requirements are modified or proposed to be modified to be less stringent or less consumer friendly.

Practice Point:  TRID does not apply to some mortgages, such as reverse mortgages or open end lines of credit (HELOCs), and Maryland disclosures for those loans are not changed.  Licensees may want to contact their forms providers and find out if changes will be implemented to reflect the elimination of certain unique Maryland disclosures for loans subject to TRID.

Effective July 1, 2017.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARTICLE

26. Chapters 618 and 619 (SB 957/HB 1168)

Counties and Municipalities - Land Bank Authorities
Local Government Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Sections 1–1401, 1–1403, 1–1405, 1–1406, 1–1408, 1–1409, 1–1410, 1–1412, 1–1413, 1–1414, 1–1415, 1–1419, and 1–1426(a)(1) to be under the amended subtitle “Subtitle 14. Establishment of Land Bank Authorities”
Tax – Property Article repealing and reenacting with amendments Sections 14–808(a), 14–824, 14–826, and 14–831

These Acts recodify and expand current enabling power to establish, by ordinance, a land bank authority, which was granted originally only to individual municipalities. Under these Acts, local governments, defined to include municipalities or counties, also have this authority. The Acts specify the various powers of a land bank authority, including the borrowing of money, issuing of bonds, investing of money, insuring real property assets against losses, improving real property, and raising revenue.  The Acts authorize a land bank authority to quiet title or foreclose on property.  The Acts provide for the collection of specified delinquent water and sewer bills through liens by a land bank authority.  The Acts also specify the mechanism for the disposition of property acquired by a local land bank authority, and exempt property held by an authority from specified taxes under specified circumstances.  Two or more local governments may enter into an intergovernmental cooperation agreement to create a single land bank to act on behalf of the local governments, which may include one or more water and sewer authorities.

Effective October 1, 2017.

PUBLIC UTILITIES ARTICLE

27. Chapter 534 (HB 261)

Public Utilities - Termination of Service to Multifamily Dwelling Unit - Notification to Property Owner or Property Manager
Public Utilities Article adding Section 7–307.3

This Act requires a public service company, before terminating gas or electric service for nonpayment, to notify the property owner or property manager of a multifamily dwelling unit if the property owner or property manager has enrolled in a third-party termination notification program, subject to specified conditions.  The property owner or property manager must (1) notify the public service company of the enrollment in a third-party notification program; (2) obtain the customer’s written consent to enroll in a third-party notification program; and (3) provide documentation of the written consent to the public service company.  This Act may not be construed to prevent any other form of third-party notification that a customer may request.  The Public Service Commission (PSC) may adopt regulations to implement this Act.

Effective October 1, 2017.

MISCELLANEOUS

28. Chapters 615 and 616 (SB 823/HB 659)

Task Force to Study Tax Sales in Maryland

These Acts establish a task force to study tax sales in Maryland.  The task force is required to evaluate and assess the impact of tax sales, evaluate how tax sales are conducted in each county, and evaluate tax sales to collect delinquent water charges and alternative methods of collecting delinquent water charges.  The task force also will consider and make recommendations for reform of the tax sale process in Maryland.  The task force is required to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2017.

Effective June 1, 2017 for a period of 1 year and 1 month and is automatically abrogated on June 30, 2018.

29. Chapter 18 (SB 884)

Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission

This Act establishes the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission, which is to be staffed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS).  The Act specifies the membership of the commission and provides that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House must designate the chair of the commission.  The commission must (1) assess the impact of potential changes to federal financial industry laws and regulations, budgets, and policies, including changes to specified federal financial regulations as well as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and (2) issue recommendations for federal and State actions that are intended to protect residents of the State when conducting financial transactions and receiving financial services.  The commission must submit two reports with its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2018.

Effective June 1, 2017 and terminates on June 30, 2019.

30. Chapter 425 (HB 404)

St. Mary's County - Land Records – Repeal
Article 19 – Public Local Laws of Maryland repealing Section 73–1 in the chapter “Chapter 73. Land Records” 

This Act repeals a provision in the public local laws of St. Mary’s County that was similar to Real Property Article, §3-104(f) relating to a certificate of preparation of a deed, mortgage, or deed of trust.

Effective October 1, 2017.

31. Chapter 148 (HB 1604)

Howard County - Transfer Tax Exemption and Rate Reduction - Law Enforcement Officers and Fire and Rescue Services Members Ho. Co. 17-17
The Public Local Laws of Howard County Section 20.300; Article 14 – Public Local Laws of Maryland repealing and reenacting those sections with amendments

This Act establishes an exemption from Howard County transfer taxes for a deed transferring title to residential property to a Howard County law enforcement officer or fire and rescue services member.  To be eligible for the exemption, at least one deed grantee must meet the following requirements: (1) the individual must occupy the property as the individual’s principal residence; (2) the individual must be a first-time home buyer in Howard County; and (3) the individual must be employed as a county police officer, county deputy sheriff, or a fire and rescue services member for a minimum of three years following the purchase of the residential property.  An individual receiving the exemption who subsequently fails to meet the requirements is liable for the balance of the County transfer tax that would otherwise have been payable at the time of transfer.  In addition, the Act limits the county transfer tax rate to 0.7% for a second and subsequent residential purchase by qualifying individuals.

Effective July 1, 2017.