The United States Supreme Court, during its recently-ended 2018 Term, declined to review the decision of a federal appeals court that a condominium owner is not personally responsible for payment of assessments which become due after the owner files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition when the owner makes all payments under a bankruptcy payment plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court. 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 amenities when 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 eligible votes 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
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