Ocean City Today
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Real estate bills passed during Md. legislative session

Real Estate Report
By Lauren Bunting | Apr 20, 2017

(April 21, 2017) The Maryland legislative session ended on April 10 this year, and there were numerous real-estate related bills that passed.

Here is a sampling of the new legislation that will affect various aspects of the real estate and rental industry.

Recordation and Transfer Taxes - Exemptions - Property Conveyed From Sole Proprietorship to Limited Liability Company (LLC): Exempting a transfer of real property from a sole proprietorship to an LLC from recordation and transfer taxes if the sole member of the LLC is identical to the converting sole proprietor and specified other conditions are met; providing that the transfer of a controlling interest in a LLC that is the product of an untaxed conversion from a sole proprietorship is subject to the recordation and transfer tax under specified circumstances.

Residential Property - Vacant and Abandoned Property - Expedited Foreclosure: Authorizing a secured party to petition a circuit court for leave to immediately commence an action to foreclose a mortgage or deed of trust on residential property if the property is vacant and abandoned under specified circumstances; requiring a secured party to send a copy of a specified petition to specified persons under specified circumstances; requiring a court to rule on a specified petition promptly after the petition is filed.

State Real Estate Commission - Real Estate Brokerage Services - Duties and Obligations: Specifying that a licensee of the State Real Estate Commission does not breach a duty or obligation to a client by showing a lessee other available properties or by discussing 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.

Bay Restoration Fund - Eligible Costs – Expansion: Altering the definition of “eligible costs” as it relates to projects that receive funding from the Bay Restoration Fund to include any wastewater facility upgrade to enhanced nutrient removal, as determined by the Department of the Environment.

Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Amendment of Governing Documents: Altering the minimum percentage of affirmative votes required to amend the bylaws of a condominium to require the affirmative vote of unit owners in good standing having at least 60 percent of the votes in the council of unit owners; repealing specified provisions concerning the minimum percentage of affirmative votes required to amend a specified governing document of a homeowners association created before a specified date.

Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief: Allowing a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax for income from the discharge of indebtedness related to acquiring, constructing, substantially improving, or refinancing a principal residence; providing that the subtraction does not apply to more than $100,000 for an individual and $200,000 for a married couple filing jointly or specified individuals; applying the Act to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2016, but before Jan. 1, 2019.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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