Lauren Bunting

Lauren Bunting

(May 28, 2021) As a continuation to the previous two weeks’ articles, below is a 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 session to summarize the legislation that affects the real estate industry.

Below is a summary of the items from the report that did pass (a full report showing bills that did not pass is available at mdrealtor.org):

HB 19 – Residential Real Estate Transactions – Escrow Agents and Trust Money– Effective Oct. 1, 2021: Clarifies the definition of trust money under the law to ensure that only the earnest money held by escrow agent for the down payment is subject to the required disclosure and not other possible escrows (e.g. holding money to repair a window).

The law further clarifies that the disclosure applies to residential property (including unimproved property zoned residential) and not commercial property.

HB 384/SB 474/ – Real Property – Sale of Mobile Home Parks – Notice Requirements– Effective Oct. 1, 2021: A mobile home park owner must notify the park residents of an impending sale of the entire mobile home park at least 30 days before the sale.

HB 610 – Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit – Eligibility of Surviving Family Member– Effective July 1, 2021: Requires a residential real estate contract to include a paragraph informing the buyer about the Homestead Tax Credit and a web address to information about it.

The contract must state: “If you plan to live in this home as your principal residence, you may qualify for the homestead property tax credit. The homestead property tax credit may significantly reduce the amount of property taxes you owe.”

The bill also requires an information brochure for the credit to be presented at the real estate settlement.

HB 407/SB 22 – On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems – Effective Oct. 1, 2021 to establish the license: Requires a state license for a Wastewater Property Transfer Inspection. The license is required for inspections after July 1, 2022. The Maryland Department of the Environment will develop the program requirements and cost for the license.

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

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