Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(June 4, 2021) As a conclusion to the previous weeks’ articles, below is a final reporting of the Maryland State Legislature, which convened on Jan. 13 and adjourned on April 12.

Maryland Realtors’ issues a report each year on the Maryland session to summarize the legislation that affects the real estate industry. Below is a finishing summary of the items from the report that passed (a full report showing bills that did not pass is available at mdrealtor.org):

HB 104/SB 401 – Landlord-Tenant – Nonrenewal of Lease – Notice Requirements– Effective Oct. 1, 2021: Extends from 30 days to 60 days the notice that must be given to a tenant when a landlord chooses not to renew a residential lease if the lease was for less than a year.

The bill does not change the notice of 90 days for leases of a year or more and exempts small landlords (less than five units) from the extended 60-day period if the landlord is being foreclosed upon (the foreclosure exemption does not apply in Montgomery or Baltimore City where the local law already provided for a 60-day notice).

HB 861/SB 691 – Real Property – Landlord and Tenant – Reusable Tenant Screening Reports– Effective Oct. 1, 2021

Provides that tenants may use “reusable” tenant screening reports if accepted by a landlord. If a landlord chooses to accept a “reusable” tenant screening report, the landlord may not charge a rental application fee.

If a landlord chooses not to accept “reusable” tenant screening reports, the landlord must notify tenants that such reports are not accepted.

HB 1069 – Water Supply – Private Well Safety Program: Provides that residential rental property that uses well water must test the well water every three years.

If a well is contaminated, the landlord is given three choices: providing a potable water source; remediating the contamination; or providing the tenant with the ability to terminate the lease. Landlords who fail to test their well are subject to a fine up to $1,000. The original bill would have established point-of-sale requirements for well testing, and a transfer tax increase to fund it.

– Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.

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