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.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has affirmed a decsion of the Court of Special Appeals ruling that certain expert testimony is not admissible to support medical clams arising from exposure to mold and other environmental byproducts of damp buildings. Such claims are often supported by a medical analysis known as “differential diagnosis” and sometimes referred to as “repetitive exposure protocol,” which as been used by physicians to attribute various medical symptoms to inhalation of mold in water-damaged buildings. Rather than demonstrating a specific exposure to a specific mold resulting in a specific reaction, differential diagnosis uses a process that “rules out” or “rules in” possible causes of symptoms a patient is experiencing to determine that their symptoms are related to exposure to mold. Differential diagnosis has been frequently used to show an association between exposure to mold in wet buildings and certain human health effects. In its opinion in the case of Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co. v. Chesson, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that this method is not sufficiently accepted in the scientific community so as to be used as a basis for medical testimony in mold cases. The Court of Special Appeals reversed a trial court ruling that found such medical testimony to be reliable and admissible. Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has now affirmed the Court of Special Appeals decision. Chesson v. Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 97, Sept. Term 2012. (more…)
New Maryland Law Limiting Liens And Related Fees And Charges Takes Effect October 1 — Only Delinquent Assessments Can Form the Basis For A Lien
An amendment to the Maryland Contract Lien Act, as it relates to the foreclosure of liens by condominiums and homeowners associations, takes effect on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. 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. As a result, unpaid fines or other charges may not be the basis for a lien. Additionally, the new law requires that related costs and fees imposed in connection with the lien 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.” The law expressly provides that it is “to apply only prospectively and may not be applied or interpreted to have any effect on or application to any lien filed before the effective date.” (more…)