The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that a board member of a homeowners association may be personally liable for violating the disability discrimination provisions of the fair housing laws by delaying action on a homeowner’s request for a reasonable accommodation in the enforcement of the association’s leasing restrictions.
When homeowners leased their home to a non-profit organization for occupancy by recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, the association board asked the homeowners to terminate the lease because it violated the HOA bylaws which prohibited leasing to anyone not named in lease and prohibited subleasing. After it received a request for waiver of the bylaw restrictions as a reasonable accommodation based on the disabilities of the sub-tenants, the HOA board approved the lease. Continue reading →
A Maryland condominium Rule which barred delinquent condo owners from using the common property parking lot and swimming pool has been struck down by the Maryland Court of Appeals–the highest state appellate court.
In Elvaton Towne Condominium Regime II v. Rose, the appeals court decided that a condominium board of directors can not rely on general rulemaking authority to adopt a Rule which interfered with the owner’s statutory property right to use the common elements. However, the court ruled that the Maryland Condominium Act permits a condominium Declaration to provide that an owner’s parking and pool privileges may be suspended where the owner is in arrears in payment of condo assessments.
Although recognizing a condo board may adopt reasonable Rules regarding the use of the common elements, the court noted that such Rules must be consistent with the condominium Declaration and Bylaws and with the Maryland Condominium Act.Continue reading →
Changes to the Maryland Condominium Act and Maryland Homeowners Association Act will soon make it easier to amend the governing documents of condominiums and homeowner associations.
The new law allows amendments to be made by a vote of members “ingood standing” instead of all of the owners. An owner is not in good standing if the payment of assessments or other charges is in arrears for more than 90 days.
Additionally, the votes required to approve amendments to condo bylaws and the declaration and bylaws of a homeowner association is reduced to 60 percent, or such lower amount allowed by the association governing documents, beginning October 1, 2017. Continue reading →
A homeowner’s unauthorized installation of a new entry door was slammed by a Maryland appeals court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled, in Spoon v. Deering Woods Condominium, that a Howard County condominium acted properly in requiring a unit owner to remove her six-panel entry door which did not match the flat entry doors of other condo units. Continue reading →
During the 2017 Maryland legislative session, the General Assembly considered many bills regarding condominium and homeowner association governance, foreclosure procedures, state registration of community associations, and regulation of community association managers.
Legislation passed includes bills to make it easier to amend condo bylaws and an HOA declaration; require lender notice of foreclosure sale postponement and cancellation; and require community associations to provide owner notice of common property sales, including government tax sales. Continue reading →
To tow or not to tow…with apologies to William Shakespeare, that is the question at the heart of long-running litigation between an Anne Arundel County condominium and owners whose vehicles were towed from the condo parking lot. The Maryland Court of Appeals will soon resolve the dispute over a condominium association’s authority to suspend a condo owner’s use of the common elements when the owner is in arrears in payment of condominium assessments. Continue reading →