Ground rent amount cannot be raised

Mailbag

October 13, 2002

Dear Mr. Azrael:

Please inform me how I can raise a ground rent. The ground property I have is valued or was valued about 30 years ago to be $1,500 with a 6 percent rent of $90 per year as of when the house was sold. The house has been sold about three times as of this date.

Mrs. Helen Zeller

Baltimore

Dear Ms. Zeller:

The amount of the ground rent cannot be raised. The rental amount is fixed in the original ground rent lease, which normally provides that the term is for 99 years, renewable forever.

Ground rents were established to provide the holder with a fixed income. Moreover, the leasehold owner has a statutory right, in most cases, to redeem the ground rent at a fixed price. For example, your ground rent probably is redeemable by the leasehold owner for $1,500.

Though the house has been sold three times since the ground rent was created, the amount of the rent and the redemption price remain constant. They have nothing to do with the value of the leasehold property.

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