Private water and sewer assessments, also known as water and sewer facilities charges or front foot assessments, can be created in most Maryland counties to enable the installers of water and sewer infrastructure to recover all, or a portion of, the cost of such infrastructure over time from the property owners benefitted.
Assessments are created by recording a declaration in the Maryland land records establishing an annual assessment to be collected from the property owner, typically for a period of 20 to 40 years. The obligation to pay the assessment runs with the land and is assumed by the new property owner when a property is sold. If an assessment is not paid, the utility company has several legal remedies available. One of these remedies is to establish a lien on the property pursuant to the Maryland Contract Lien Act.
Assessments are not related to water and sewer usage fees, which are charged separately by the county or other governmental entity. Furthermore, the infrastructure is dedicated for public use and any maintenance thereof is not the responsibility of the developer or utility company collecting the assessment. The right to collect assessments is frequently assigned by the original developer of the property to third parties, including the utility companiesmanaged by Chesapeake Capital Partners.