MarylandCondominiumlaw.net is written by Thomas C. Schild. Tom focuses his practice in the representation of community associations. Since 1985, he has represented condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. He is recognized locally and nationwide as a leader in the field of community association law.
Tom has written numerous articles and presented many seminars concerning various aspects of condominium and homeowners associations operations. He has recently presented programs regarding community associations insurance, contracts, leasing restrictions, tips for avoiding litigation, and community governance.
He is a long-time member and past Chair of the Maryland Legislative Action Committee of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), which represents community association interests before the Maryland General Assembly. Tom is also a member of CAI's National Faculty and teaches a Community Governance course for community association managers in cities nationwide. And, he is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) which is comprised of fewer than 150 lawyers nationwide recognized for their leadership and contributions in the field of community law. He previously served on the Board of Directors of CAI's Washington Metropolitan Chapter.
Tom is a 1976 graduate of Northwestern University and a 1980 graduate of the George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Where a condominium unit in Baltimore County, Maryland was damaged by steam escaping from the heating system when a unit owner hired a plumber to remove heat radiators in the unit and was negligent by not requesting the contractor to re-install the radiators after the unit was painted, the condo insurance carrier may not recover the cost to repair the unit from the plumbing contractor, a federal trial court in Maryland recently ruled.
The radiators were removed in July when the central heating system was not operating, and the unit owner did not request the contractor to re-install the radiators until November after the heating system had been tuned on. The cost of more than $120,000 to repair the damage to the unit was covered by the condominium’s property damage insurance. The insurance company paid the condominium association which then paid the unit owner who hired a contractor to make the repairs to the unit.
The insurance carrier filed suit against the plumbing contractor to recover the amount it paid to the condominium. The contractor contended that the claim should not be allowed because the unit owner was an insured under the condo master insurance policy and was negligent in not contacting the contractor to re-install the radiators. Continue reading →
Short term daily and weekly rentals are now allowed in all residential areas of Montgomery County, Maryland, beginning July 1, 2018.
Previously, no residential rentals were permitted in Montgomery County for less than 30 days. Faced with widespread illegal daily and weekly rentals, the County Council passed legislation in October, 2017 to allow these rentals where the property is the primary residence of the owner or owner-authorized resident of the rental property. However, condominiums, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives are still allowed to ban or restrict short term rentals. Continue reading →
The hot topic during the 2018 Maryland legislative session was how Maryland will adapt to recent changes in federal income tax and health insurance laws.
Beyond the headlines, the Maryland General Assembly considered many bills which directly affect Maryland condominiums, homeowner associations, and housing cooperatives. Several new laws which help condos and HOAs were enacted.Continue reading →
The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation to make it easier for condominium associations to suspend use of the common area parking lot, pool and other recreational amenitieswhen an owner is delinquent in paying the condo assessments for more than 60 days.
The new law allows approval by owners with 60 percent of the total eligiblevotes to amend a condominium declaration to provide for the suspension of use of these portions of the condominium common property. This is far less than the 80 percent minimum required by the Maryland Condominium Act for other declaration amendments, and some older condo documents require as much as 100 percent unanimous approval. Continue reading →
Legislation to prevent condominium developers from imposing restrictions on condominium warranty claims was passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the final days of the legislative session in April, 2018. In recent years, condominium developers have put provisions in condominium bylaws and sales contractsto limit the ability to condominium associations and unit owners to sue the developer for construction defects. Continue reading →
Maryland condominium and homeowners association covenants often prohibit parking “commercial vehicles” without specifying what constitutes a commercial vehicle.
Where a word or phrase used in the declaration of covenants for a condominium or homeowners association is not defined in the covenants or by statute, the board of directors has broad discretion to adopt rules which explain how the provisions of the covenants will be applied.
If there are no community rules which define what constitutes a “commercial vehicle”, it is likely that a court would apply the Maryland statutory definition of “commercial motor vehicle” used in connection with the requirements for obtaining a commercial driver’s license. Under that definition, a commercial vehicle includes any vehicle with a gross weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds; a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers; or any size vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. Excluded from the statutory definition are fire and rescue vehicles with audible and visual signals. Continue reading →