.17 Personal Property of Residents.

A. Personal Possessions.

(1) A resident has the right to retain and use personal possessions, including furnishings and appropriate clothing as space permits, unless to do so would be detrimental to the rights or health and safety of other residents.

(2) A facility shall take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and security of the personal belongings of its residents.

(3) A facility shall provide a reasonable amount of locked storage space for personal property upon the request of a resident.

B. A nursing facility may not limit the amount of funds it keeps on behalf of a resident, but may limit the amount of other property that it retains on behalf of the resident.

C. A nursing facility shall establish written procedures to prevent loss or damage to, and protect, property.

D. A nursing facility shall establish written procedures for investigating an incident of loss or damage to the property of a resident, including:

(1) A procedure by which an individual, including a resident or representative of a resident, may report loss or damage;

(2) The designation of an employee of the nursing facility to:

(a) Receive reports of loss or damage;

(b) Conduct an investigation; and

(c) Inform the resident, or when applicable, a representative or interested family member, of the results of the investigation.

E. Release of Personal Property. A nursing facility shall release the property of a resident to:

(1) The resident or a representative upon the:

(a) Request of the resident; or

(b) Transfer or discharge of the resident from the nursing facility; or

(2) A government agency acting pursuant to legal authority.

F. Disposition of Personal Property Upon the Death of a Resident.

(1) Immediately upon but not later than 30 business days after the death of a resident, a nursing facility shall provide notice of the resident's property being held by the facility to:

(a) The resident's representative or interested family member; and

(b) Government agencies which have paid any part of the nursing facility charges for the resident.

(2) Upon the death of a resident, the nursing facility shall release:

(a) The resident's wearing apparel other than furs and jewels to a representative or immediate family member; and

(b) Other personal property only to an individual who presents certified letters of administration that designate the individual as "Representative of the Estate of _______________________________________________".

(3) Personal property or income derived from the cash conversion of personal property that a facility holds for a discharged or deceased resident is presumed abandoned in accordance with Commercial Law Article, Title 17, Annotated Code of Maryland, when the property or income from cash conversion is not claimed within 1 year.

(4) When a nursing facility is still holding a resident's personal property 1 year after the resident's death, the nursing facility shall notify the Unclaimed Property Section, Comptroller of the Treasury, for appropriate direction.