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Do You Know the Garage and Lawn Sale Laws in Baltimore?

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Posted On 10.09.13 by in Blog

Summer is officially over, but some residents are still trying to squeeze in a garage or lawn sale. If you’re looking to clear out the clutter, and make a little extra money in the bargain, a garage sale can be just the thing.

However, you might not realize that Baltimore’s city code governs the way garage and lawn sales are run. You can find it in Article 15, under Subtitle 8. Here are some of the basics of what you need to know if you plan to hold a garage or lawn sale in Baltimore:

Frequency and Duration of Garage and Lawn Sales

Baltimore’s code really only places limitations on the frequency and duration of these types of sales. First of all, Subtitle 8 doesn’t apply to judicial sales, licensed auctions, or sales offered by properly licensed businesses. These types of sales are not considered garage or lawn sales for the purpose of the code, and they have their own regulations to follow.

Baltimore garage sales are only supposed to take place once in a six-month period. So, you can only hold a garage sale or lawn sale one time on your residential property once within any six-month period. This means you need to plan ahead if you don’t want to run afoul of Baltimore’s city code. And if you don’t sell everything, you can’t just hold another sale in a week or a month.

The good news is that you can hold a garage or lawn sale for up to three consecutive days. So if you are concerned that things aren’t going well for you on the day of your sale, you can plan to hold the sale for the next two days.

What Happens if You Violate Baltimore’s Rules on Garage and Lawn Sales?

Every transgressed law comes with a penalty. In the case of Subtitle 8, the penalty is being charged with a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of the misdemeanor, you are subject to a fine. The fine, however, is limited to $100 for each violation of the law.

It is important, though, to make sure that your garage or lawn sale doesn’t violate any other related laws. For example, you don’t want your sale to end in a citation for a messy yard. Unpaid citations for a messy yard have been known result in Baltimore residents seeing their homes go to tax sale. Make sure that, even with your sale set up, things are neat and orderly, and that you clean up after you complete your sale. Pay attention to sign requirements as well. You don’t want your garage or lawn sale signs getting you into trouble with the law.

If you do find that you have unpaid fines and citations, no matter what they are for, realize that the City of Baltimore might decide to send your home to tax sale. A lien on your property might be sold to investors, and if you don’t pay the fine (plus interest) your home could be foreclosed on — even if you are up to date on your mortgage payments.

When you find yourself facing these difficult circumstances, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable attorney who can help you navigate the law, and who can help you set things to rights so that you don’t lose your property.

Ingerman & Horwitz, LLP is a full-service, Maryland personal injury law firm with over 100 years of collective experience. As a Better Business Bureau A+ rated, accredited firm, Ingerman & Horwitz, LLP is recognized throughout Maryland for its commitment to justice and dedication to excellence, resulting in numerous client referrals and the respect of their peers.

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