The 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly saw the introduction of almost 100 bills, the passage of which will impact Maryland community associations. Below is a summary of the bills that passed and will become law on October 1, 2017.
Amendment of Governing Documents (HB789)
The number of votes required to amend the bylaws of a condominium or the governing documents of a homeowners association will be reduced to 60% of the number of votes, unless the governing documents specify a lower percentage. In addition, members that are not in good standing, more than 90 days in arrears, will be excluded from the 60% requirement.
Sale of Common Areas (HB1369/SB809)
Unfortunately, the new law requires associations to provide notice to owners of the sale, including tax sales, of common areas or elements. Notice is effectuated by providing written notice of the sale to all owners, or (i) by posting a sign about the sale on the property to be sold in a manner similar to signage required for zoning modifications and, (ii) if the association has a web site, placing notice of the sale on the web site’s home page.
HOA Resale Inspection Fees (HB34)
Homeowner associations will be permitted to charge an inspection fee as part of the resale process. The fee is limited to $50.00 per inspection.
Notice of foreclosure/Cancelation/Postponements (HB26)
In addition to providing associations that have recorded statements of lien against the property notice of a foreclosure sale, the new law requires providing notice to these associations when a sale has been canceled or postponed.
Access to DLLR Filings (HB1048/SB875)
Current law requires persons filing foreclosure actions to notify the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) within 7 days of the filing. The notice must state the name, address and phone number of the person making the sale and the person maintaining and managing the property after the sale. The new law will allow associations access to DLLR’s records.
Small Claims Action/Appeals (SB500)
Currently, an officer or a corporation or an employee designated by an officer of a corporation may represent the corporation in a small claims action in district court. The new law will allow these persons to represent the entity if the action is appealed from the district court to the circuit court.
Susan Rapaport is an attorney with the Community Association practice group at Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC. For questions about this article or other questions about the Elvaton case, please do not hesitate to contact Susan at 410.995.5800 or via email.