Maryland counties can now take steps to abate nuisances on vacant or foreclosed houses in the state. Southern Maryland News has this report ("Charles County can compel code issue fixes," by Jeff Newman).

"State legislation passed this year allows the county to demolish structures it couldn't before, hire contractors to make structural repairs and include fines on a property's tax bill, county Codes, Permits and Inspection Services Chief Frank Ward told the Charles County commissioners last week," the paper reports. "More common building code violations that could be addressed via the clean-and-lien program, which allows the county to recoup the cost of remedying nuisance or illegal properties, include unpermitted homes, home repairs, decks and sheds, as well as dilapidated homes that have become popular hangouts for local youth or drug users, Ward said. Nuisance properties have long been an issue in Charles County, one aggravated by the economic recession and an uptick in foreclosures."