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The Biggest Maryland Law Changes this Fall

A church on the cornerAs of October 1, 2018, many Maryland law changes are taking effect. Everything from mutual consent divorce to landlord registration standards is changing as a result of the latest pieces of legislation that are now on the books.

Family Law

One of the biggest Maryland law changes we mentioned earlier this year when Governor Hogan had it on his desk—both parties do not need to appear in court for an absolute divorce hearing providing that it is a mutual consent divorce. Combined with the other laws that allow for divorcing parties with minor children in common to divorce by mutual consent with no mandatory separation period, this year has had some significant changes to the divorce process in Maryland.

Another new law on the books extends permanent protective orders to victims of domestic violence. In general, the victims can be granted the order against a person who has been sentenced to at least 5 years of prison and has served 12 months or more of the sentence.

Maryland has also authorized courts to, under certain circumstances, terminate the parental rights of an individual who was convicted of, or found to have committed an act of, non-consensual sexual conduct against the other parent that led to the conception of a child.

Real Estate Law

The most significant change to real estate and tenant law comes in Baltimore City, where new rental laws are taking effect. Landlords of single family, two-family and multi-family dwellings must comply with updated inspection and registration laws by January 1, 2019. The updated inspection checklist includes new smoke detector regulations and updated standards for living spaces. Every dwelling that is non-owner occupied, regardless of whether or not it is a source of revenue or occupied by anyone, must be inspected and approved by the deadline. If a property is not registered with Baltimore City, landlords could receive a $1,000 fine and a suspension, revocation or denial of a rental license. The licensing is structured around a tier system that the City hopes will reward property owners that invest the proper effort to maintaining units. All first licenses will be issued for 2 years. Once renewal approaches, some landlords will be eligible for 1-year, 2-year or 3-year licenses depending on the maintenance record and violations.

Stay on Top of Maryland Law Changes with Lebovitz Law

If you are living in untenable conditions or preparing for a mutual consent divorce in Maryland, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.

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