File suit or seek possession on past due ground rent

Mailbag

March 29, 1998

Dear Mr. Azrael:

I own a ground rent that is over two years past due. I have sent the house owner ground rent bills with no success.

I just found out after reading your article in The Sun that ground rent that is past due has a three-year limit.

What action will I have to take to collect past-due ground rent?

Dominic J. Pistorio

Baltimore Dear

Dear Mr. Pistorio:

Assuming your ground rent is a 99-year ground lease renewable forever, you have two options.

You may file a suit alleging a failure to pay rent. It should be filed in the District Court of Maryland for the jurisdiction in which the property is located.

Alternatively, once a ground rent is six months in arrears, the landlord may file an action for possession of the property. Notice must be given to the tenant and to each mortgagee who has filed a request for notice of judgment.

Once a judgment for possession is entered, the tenant or other person claiming under the lease has six months to pay the delinquent ground rent and any cost awarded by the court.

After this period, the landlord is entitled to possession of the property. Proper form and content is required for all notices and pleadings to ensure that all liens are discharged. You should consider consulting an attorney to assist you.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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