A bill that was introduced in the Maryland Legislature that mirrors the Federal law giving tenants certain rights when a property is being foreclosed on made it through the House this week, but not without some opposition.

HB0711, sponsored by Delegates Healey (D, Prince George’s County) and Lafferty (D, Baltimore County) would give a tenant the right to stay in a foreclosed property for the remainder of their lease, provided certain conditions have been met.  In other words, if you’re a renter and your landlord is in foreclosure — the new owner can’t throw you out if you’ve been paying your rent.  You can read the bill text here.

The bill was met with some opposition, however, according to the Maryland Reporter:

“It hurts purchasers. It hurts the real estate market. In trying to help tenants we’re hurting purchasers,” [Delegate] McConkey [R, Anne Arundel County] said. “They’re going to buy properties and they’re not going to know whether or not there is a tenant in the property for three months or five years. It expands the process too much without taking into account all the parties, making the process unfair.”

We’re curious as to why a prospective owner wouldn’t know if the building comes with tenants or not, since most rental property buyers look at leases and potential rental income before considering such a purchase.  We see McConkey’s argument nonsensical at best, and we hope he reconsiders his position.

We would like to thank Delegates Healey  and Lafferty for introducing this important legislation to protect tenants.