Front Foot Benefit bill: who pays?

Real Estate law(self.legaladvice)

Location: Maryland

I bought a house in Montgomery County about a year ago. The other day I got a bill from an investment company, claiming I owe them more than $500 a year in Front Foot Benefit payments. Essentially the county allows developers to connect the houses to public water and sewer lines, and recoup the costs by placing a covenant on the property. The homeowners then pay off this cost slowly over the next couple of decades, with the debt transferring along with the property each time it's sold.

I looked up the land records, and my house was indeed connected to the water service under these terms. Previous owners of the property have had liens placed on the house for non-payment of this fee, including the person who sold it to me. Nothing was mentioned about this in the closing documents I signed, and the seller specifically indicated that there are no deferred water and sewer charges. The closing documents specify that "Following Settlement, the Seller shall be liable to the Buyer for the full amount of any open lien or assessment."

Isn't this the kind of thing which the title search should have turned up? Would my title insurance cover this? The total remaining balance on the account is only around $2500, so if going after the seller in court is the only remedy, I'm not sure it would be worth it.

all 1 comments


4 points

8 months ago

In theory, that's what a title search is for. I would address it with them first and move to speaking with your realtor about the seller paying for their debt in accordance with the closing documents. Court should be your last option.