Senate Bill 274, now pending before the Maryland General Assembly, would require that residential property managers for condominiums, cooperatives and homewoner associations be registered with the Maryland Department of Licensing and Regulation. Unlike House Bill 10, which calls for a licensing process, the Senate proposal would have the Department issue registration certificates that would be renewed every two years. An applicant, in addition to paying a registration fee, would be requried to identify all of the communities that they mangage, and certify that they are covered by fidelity insurance. The Department would be authorized to establish other requirements for registrants, and to investigate complaints alleging a failure to comply with the applicable provisions, or refer complaints to the State’s Attorney’s Office.. Failures to comply could result in misdemeanor and fine.
Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Require HOA Disclosure Statements and Limit Fees Charged by HOAs and Condos
Legislation pending the the Maryland General Assembly would require Homeowners Associations to provide information needed by a lot owner in connection with a pending re-sale of their home. House Bill 412 and Senate Bill 229 would both require Homeowners Associations to make re-sale disclosure information available upon written request of a lot owner. Presently, Section 11B-106 of the Maryland Homeowners Association Act provides that certain information be provided to a prospective purchaser in the community, and that certain information be included in the contract of sale. The proposed legislation provides that, within twenty days of receiving a written request from the selling owner, the Association must provide the information necessary for the owner to comply with the disclosure requirements. It also limits the fee that could be charged to the owner for preparing the information to the actual cost up to a maximum of Fifty Dollars. Both bills also would impose this same Fifty Dollar limit in charges by condominium councils of unit owners for furnishing the re-sale disclosure information they are required to provide under Section 11-135 of the Maryland Condominium Act.
As occurred previously in the most recent legislative sessions, a bill has been filled in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly that propose to establish provisions for the licensing and regulation of property managers of residential communities. House Bill 10 would both amend the Business Occupations and Professions Article of the Maryland Annotated Code to create a State Board of Common Ownership Community Managers in the Department of Licensing and Regulation to issue licenses to the managers of “common ownership communities,” which include condominiums, cooperatives and homeowner associations. Such a license would be required before any individual would be permitted to provide property management services to communities in the State. Applicants would be required to complete a training program and pass an examination, along with paying a licensing fee. The licenses would be issued for two years, and would be renewable upon submission of a renewal applciation and fee.
I have received some questions regarding the new law, which took effect on October 1, 2013, that limits the basis for foreclosure of a lien on a condominium unit by the council of unit owners and foreclosure of a lien on a property by a homeowners association. The new law modifies Section 14-204 of the Real Property Article of the Maryland Annotated Code to prohibit condominiums and homeowners associations from foreclosing on liens for anything other than delinquent periodic or special assessments; meaning that unpaid fines may not be the basis for a lien foreclosure. Additionally, the new law requires that related costs and fees be limited to “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees directly related to the filing of the lien and not exceeding the amount of the delinquent assessments.” Unpaid fines and other charges may still form the basis of a lien, but the lien may not be foreclosed on the basis. (more…)
The Ocean City Condo Show is this weekend at the R.E. Powell Ocean City Convention Center, Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27. Please look for the ad for this blog in the show program and in this week’s edition of The Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today.
Contracts For The Initial Sale of Condominium Units In Maryland Are Invalid If the Public Offering Statement Has Not Been Registered
Under Section 11-127 of the Maryland Condominium Act, devel0pers of condominiums are required to file a Public Offering Statement with the Maryland Secretary of State. Until the Public Offering Statement is registered, and until 10 days after all amendments have been filed, a contract for the sale of any unit may not be entered into, and any such contracts are void. Additionally, under Section 11-126 of the Maryland Condominium Act, the initial purchaser of a condominium unit must receive a copy of the Public Offering Statement at or before the time the contract of sale is entered into, or the contract is unenforceable by the seller. Such contracts of sale are also required to contain, in conspicuous type, a notice of the purchaser’s right to receive a Public Offering Statement.