A Maryland appeals court has ruled that emails sent to owners in a Baltimore condominium association by the condo President regarding a recent burglary were not defamatory with regard to the owner whose condominium unit was broken into.
An email was sent to another owner who reported the burglary and copied to several board members in part stating: “What do you think I should do in response to your email? Should I ask to be appointed police commissioner so I can station cops in our community 24/7? Should I tell our neighbors not to associate with criminals who might want to cause harm to them”?
A developer’s Declaration notifies the purchaser of the property of a potential lien for unpaid assessments, but is not sufficient to create an assessment lien, according to a recent decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals–the top state appeals court. A lien based on the contractual obligation to pay assessments is valid only if the party asserting the lien complies with the notice procedures of the Maryland Contract Lien Act.
At issue, in Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. v. Saddlebrook West Utility Company, LLC, was a claimed lien as part of a deferred financing arrangement for the construction of the water and sewer infrastructure for a new home development in Prince George’s County, Maryland. 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 →
The District of Columbia Condominium Act has been amended to require new notices and information be provided to condominium purchasers and unit owners.
When a condominium advises the owner of its intention to take legal action to collect any past due amount owned by the unit owner, the owner must be provided with a statement of account showing the total amount past due, including a breakdown of the categories of amounts claimed to be due and the dates those amounts accrued. 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 of the total votes in the condo or HOA, 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 →