Ground Rent in Baltimore: What to Know Before You Buy

Ground rent is a uniquely Baltimore phenomenon. Built on antiquated practices, it nonetheless persists to this day and can have serious consequences for homeowners. Learn more about ground rent in Baltimore in this week’s blog.


Ground rent could cost you your home.

Ground Rent in Baltimore: What to Know Before You Buy

Ground rent is a concept that originated in the 17th century. The term refers to the practice of a homeowner purchasing only a physical building and not the land it stands on: they must continue to pay rent on that land.

Despite the fact that it is based on an antiquated system, it still applies to some properties in Baltimore. If a homeowner is unaware of ground rent on their property and fails to py it, they could potentially face eviction.

When you are looking at properties, be sure to find out whether the home you are interested in is fee simple (that is, you own the house and land outright) or ground rent (you will continue to pay a fee to the owner of your land). Rates are generally not too expensive for ground rent, averaging around $100 per year. However, if you do not pay your ground rent then it can land you in serious trouble. Homeowners who neglect to pay their ground rent can lose their homes through a process known as “ejectment.” The owners of the land are able to sue homeowners over their delinquent ground rent and, as payment, may be awarded the home that sits on the property. If you are buying a home in Baltimore then it is incredibly important to be aware of ground rent, to find out whether or not your property is under ground rent and, if so, to always pay the fee on time and in full.

If you do purchase a property with ground rent it is possible to purchase your ground rent. It is required by law that the property owner sells the ground rent to the home owner if the homeowner requests it. The price is calculated by multiplying the redemption rate by the year ground rent fee.

Title Services from Colony Title Associates

Colony Title has been in business since 1995 and handles more than 2,000 real estate closings per year. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about closing, please give us a call at 410-884-1160 or visit our website for more information.

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