by Tom Schild
Same-sex marriage, budget deficits and tax hikes top the high-profile issues for the 2012 Maryland legislative session now underway in Annapolis. For condominiums and homeowner associations, the focus will be on rules adoption and enforcement procedures, developer to homeowner transition, and manager licensing.
Legislation has been introduced to require all Maryland condominiums and homeowner associations to follow a specific rules enforcement procedure before imposing fines, suspending voting rights or infringing on owner rights for violation of association rules (HB 76/SB 184).
Also proposed is a bill to extend to homeowner associations the rules adoption procedure which already applies to condominiums. This legislation would require notice to all homeowners and allow an opportunity to comment on a proposed rule before it can be adopted by the board of directors (HB 155).
Other proposed legislation would aid homeowners in the transition from developer to homeowner control of condos and HOAs by requiring the developer to appoint an independent owner to the board of directors when homes representing 25 percent of the votes in the community have been conveyed. It would also require a developer to maintain independent books, records and accounts from the time the association is established. Additionally, a developer would be required to notify members of a homeowner-controlled board of any government bonds related to the association and provide additional notice prior to requesting release from such bonds (HB 79/SB 202).
Future posts on the Maryland Condominium & HOA Law Blog will provide updates on these bills and other proposed legislation during the 2012 Maryland legislative session which runs until mid-April.