Many agricultural areas in Maryland and throughout the USA have seen buyers purchasing property in rural areas with very little understanding of farm operations. Once there, the inexperienced residents find noises, insects, farm equipment on the roads, smells, and other normal characteristics of agricultural life unexpected and objectionable, and then they complain.
In response, all 50 states have created a Right-to-Farm (RTF) law and Maryland introduced a RTF law in 1981.These laws typically shield agricultural operations from complaining non-farm neighbors by limiting the scope of and providing a defense for nuisance actions brought against farms and other agricultural operations. Maryland’s RTF law only provides a defense against nuisance claims, not a general defense to all claims against an agricultural operation.
Each of Maryland’s 23 counties has its own RTF ordinance in their county codes. These RTF ordinances vary from county to county. Agricultural operations should check the county code for each county in which they operate. These county RTF ordinances work with the state’s RTF law to define the parameters of those activities protected in each county.
County RTF ordinances may require that when a house or property is sold or transferred, the existence of the RTF ordinance must be disclosed. The notice informs the new owners of the existing RTF law and ordinances in the state and county. This disclosure educates the people potentially purchasing property, leasing with an option to purchase, or leasing in a residential area that they must co-exist with neighboring agricultural operations.
Over my real estate career I have sold many rural properties and answer many questions for urban REALTORS® and buyers. Some of the memorable ones include an agent asking ; Q: What is the thing in the field called that looks like an animal car port? A: Your talking about the run-in shed.
A number of have buyers asked; Q: How much will my monthly water sewer bill be?
A: That is one of the benefits of living in the country ~ there is no monthly bill , only occasional maintenance costs.