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Statutes Text

Article - Real Property


    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    “Community association” means a Maryland nonprofit association, corporation, or other organization that:

            (i)    Is comprised of at least 20% of the total number of households as members of a local community that consists of 40 or more individual households as defined by specific geographic boundaries in the bylaws or charter of the community association;

            (ii)    Requires, as a condition of membership, the payment of monetary dues at least annually;

            (iii)    Is operated primarily for the promotion of social welfare and general neighborhood improvement and enhancement;

            (iv)    Has been in existence for at least 1 year when it files suit under this section;

            (v)    Is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code; and

            (vi)    Is in good standing.

        (3)    “Local code violation” means a violation under the following provisions of the Anne Arundel County Code or under any applicable code relating to the following provisions incorporated in the Anne Arundel County Code by reference:

            (i)    Article 11 – Crimes and Punishments;

            (ii)    Article 12 – Animal Control;

            (iii)    Article 14 – Environmental Health;

            (iv)    Article 16 – Licenses and Permits; and

            (v)    Article 22 – Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code.

        (4)    “Nuisance” means:

            (i)    An act or condition knowingly created, performed, or maintained on private property that constitutes a local code violation and that:

                1.    Significantly affects other residents of the neighborhood;

                2.    Diminishes the value of neighboring property; and

                3.    A.    Is injurious to public health, safety, or welfare of neighboring residents; or

                B.    Obstructs the reasonable use of other property in the neighborhood;

            (ii)    A property where the tenant, owner, or other occupant has been convicted of violations of § 10–201 or § 10–202 of the Criminal Law Article for conduct occurring on, in, or in relation to the property; or

            (iii)    A property to which police or other law enforcement agencies have responded to complaints or calls for service 10 or more times within any 30 day period.

    (b)    This section only applies to a nuisance located within the boundaries of Anne Arundel County.

    (c)    An action to abate a nuisance may be brought under this section and § 4–401 of the Courts Article by:

        (1)    The State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County;

        (2)    The County Attorney for Anne Arundel County;

        (3)    A community association within whose boundaries the nuisance is located; or

        (4)    The City Attorney for the City of Annapolis.

    (d)    (1)    A person specified in subsection (c) of this section may seek injunctive and other equitable relief in the District Court for abatement of a nuisance upon showing:

            (i)    The notice requirements under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection have been satisfied; and

            (ii)    The nuisance has not been abated.

        (2)    (i)    An action may not be brought under this section based on a nuisance until 60 days after the plaintiff gives notice of the violation and of the plaintiff’s intent to bring an action under this section by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the applicable local enforcement agency.

            (ii)    An action may not be brought under this section if the applicable code enforcement agency has filed an action for equitable relief from the nuisance.

        (3)    (i)    An action may not be brought under this section until 60 days after the tenant, if any, and owner of record receive notice from the plaintiff that a nuisance exists and that legal action may be taken if the nuisance is not abated.

            (ii)    The notice shall specify:

                1.    The nature of the alleged nuisance;

                2.    The date and time of day the nuisance was first discovered;

                3.    The location on the property where the nuisance is allegedly occurring; and

                4.    The relief sought.

            (iii)    The notice shall be provided to the tenant, if any, and the owner of record in the same manner as service of process in a civil in personam action under the Maryland Rules.

            (iv)    1.    In addition to any service of process required by the Maryland Rules, the plaintiff shall cause to be posted in a conspicuous place on the property no later than 48 hours before the hearing the notice required under subsubparagraph 2 of this subparagraph.

                2.    The notice shall indicate:

                A.    The nature of the proceedings;

                B.    The time and place of the hearing; and

                C.    The name and telephone number of the person to contact for additional information.

        (4)    In filing a suit under this section, the plaintiff shall certify to the court:

            (i)    What steps the plaintiff has taken to satisfy the notice requirements under this subsection; and

            (ii)    That each condition precedent to the filing of an action under this section has been met.

    (e)    A political subdivision of the State or any agency of a political subdivision may not be subject to any action brought under this section or an action resulting from an action brought under this section against a private property owner.

    (f)    (1)    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and in addition to or as a component of any remedy ordered under subsection (d) of this section, the court, after a hearing, may order a tenant who knew or should have known of the existence of the nuisance to vacate the property within 72 hours.

        (2)    The court, after a hearing, may grant a judgment of restitution or the possession of rental property to the owner if:

            (i)    The owner and tenant are parties to the action; and

            (ii)    A tenant has failed to obey an order under subsection (d) of this section or paragraph (1) of this subsection.

        (3)    If the court orders restitution of the possession of the property under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the court shall immediately issue its warrant to the sheriff or constable commanding execution of the warrant within 5 days after issuance of the warrant.

        (4)    In addition to or as a part of any injunction, restraining order, or other relief ordered, the court may order the owner of the property to submit for court approval a plan of correction to ensure, to the extent reasonably possible, that the property will not again be used for a nuisance if:

            (i)    The owner is a party to the action; and

            (ii)    The owner knew or should have known of the existence of the nuisance.

        (5)    If an owner fails to comply with an order to abate a nuisance, after a hearing the court may, in addition to any other relief granted, order that the property be demolished if the property is unfit for habitation and the estimated cost of rehabilitation significantly exceeds the estimated market value of the property after rehabilitation.

    (g)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, this section may not be construed to abrogate any equitable or legal right or remedy otherwise available under the law to abate a nuisance.

        (2)    This section may not be construed as granting standing for an action:

            (i)    Challenging any zoning application or approval;

            (ii)    In which the alleged nuisance consists of:

                1.    A condition relating to lead paint; or

                2.    An interior physical defect of a property;

            (iii)    Involving any violation of alcoholic beverages laws under the Alcoholic Beverages Article; or

            (iv)    Involving any matter in which a certificate, license, permit, or registration is required or allowed under the Environment Article.

    (h)    Provisions of this article or public local laws applicable to actions between a landlord and a tenant are not applicable to actions brought against a landlord or a tenant under this section.

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