Welcome to our first in a series of blog posts regarding general litigation. These posts will address a broad range of topics ranging from real-estate transactions, business law, contract law and more. The focus on this series will be to introduce our readers to some general and common legal issues and situations. If you have a question or a topic you’d like to see addressed here on our blog, send your suggestions to email@example.com.
…about Adverse Possession Laws?
The act of trespassing for so long on a piece of land or property that you gain a right of ownership or pass-through is called “adverse possession”. This legal doctrine was designed to encourage owners of large pieces of land to keep an eye on and make beneficial use out of as much of their property as they can. If they don’t, the law allows trespassers to gain legal title to the property if they are openly inhabiting and improving the property. Under Maryland law, the trespassers must occupy the property for at least 20 years before the possibility of ownership.
…about Riparian Rights?
If you own or are considering purchasing waterfront property in Maryland, you’ll want to pay attention here. With the purchase of waterfront property you’re also getting gorgeous views, a specific set of risks (hello flood insurance) and you also get something called “riparian rights”. As a waterfront property owner, you do not own the water (or even the land beneath the water), but you do own access to the water. These rights can be impeded on by a neighbor or community association, creating conflict within the community and presenting serious implications to the economic and personal interests of the property owner. That’s where riparian rights come in to play. Riparian rights indicate a bundle of rights that focus on the physical relationship of a body of water and the land that borders it. It is important to understand that Maryland owns the land under the water and the United States has an overriding interest in preserving any body of water for public navigation. For this reason, the government may regulate the building of piers and wharves to assure that navigation is not made impossible.
…about County AND HOA Covenants?
If you are planning on making any structural changes to your home (additions, decks, pools, etc.) or making any major landscaping changes to your yard (cutting down trees, putting in a driveway, etc.) be sure you check both the county and Home Owner’s Association (HOA) covenants. What might be allowed by your county of residence, may not be allowed by your HOA covenants and vice versa. Be sure you obtain all proper permissions and permits from both bodies of government before you break ground on any minor or major home improvements or renovations.
As always, if you find yourself in a bit of legal trouble, the Ferrante & Dill, LLC team of General Litigation attorneys will be there by your side! For help with a legal issue or for more comprehensive information on the topics we discussed in this blog, give us a call at (410) 535-6100 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org today!