REALTY UPDATES

Buyers/Sellers

Nanny Cams

In Maryland, it's legal to record surveillance video with a hidden camera in your home without the consent of the person your're recording.  In general, it is not necessary for a seller making a video recording to obtain the consent of a potential buyer or customer at an open house or during a showing or home inspection, regardless of what type of device is being used to make the video recording. 

However, AUDIO recording and video recording are two entirely different topics.  Maryland law expressly prohibits AUDIO recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties (Section 10-402 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Act).  If the sellers are usig a device which makes both audio and video recordings, they have two choices: (i) obtain the consent of all parties to such audio and video recordings; or (ii) turn off the audio recording feature of the device.  If the audio recording feature cannot be disabled or turned off, consent must be obtained from all parties BEFORE the recording is made. It is important to note that consent from all parties is not the same thing as notice.  A seller posting a sign saying that an audio-visual recording is being made has not obtained the parties' consent and needs to get it in writing.

New Radon Testing Law In Montgomery County

Effective: October 1, 2016

Requires sellers in the county to test their homes for radon or permit the buyer to test the home at the point of sale.  Law applies to owners of single family homes that are not part of a condominium or cooperative community.  Amendments were passed including exemption from the requirement based on the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement e.g., sellers in a foreclosure sale, transfer of property in an estate or to a buyer planning to demolish the home.  The new requirements could be met by following the directions of a consumer friendly radon test kit (baseline kits start at around $25, with more sophisticated kits at higher prices) and disclosing the results.  There are no remediation requirements.

MCDEP advised GCAAR they will utilize the list of devices on the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists/National Radon Proficiency Program website here.  MCDEP has stated not all of the accepted devices appear on the list.   If you have questions about whether the device you are using is approved or any other questions about the new radon law, we encourage you to call MCDEP at 240.777.0311.

HB 1195/SB 816- Real Property - Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Resales - Disclosures and Fees

Effective: October 1, 2016

Sets in law the maximum fee that can be charged for HOA and condo resale packets, and then limits how much those fees can increase in future years.  Although the legislation will not likely lower many fees, it will slow how quickly these fees can increase in the future.  In general, the fees cannot exceed $250.  However, if an inspection is required of the property, an inspection fee can be added and cannot exceed $100.  If a rush order is placed, a "rush fee" can be added and cannot exceed $50 if delivery is requested within 14 days or $100 if the delivery is requested within 7 days.  Finally, the fees in the legislation may only be increased every two years by no more than the rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). 

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