The Maryland House of Delegates failed to take action on House Bill 259, which would have prevented residential condominium developers from including certain provisions in the project’s governing documents or sales contracts that limit the developer’s liability for construction defects. The Maryland Senate, by a vote of 36 – 11, passed Senate Bill 207, which would prohibit provisions in the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations that limit the ability of a council of unit owners to file suit on behalf of itself or the unit owners or enforce warranty claims. However, the House version died the Environmental Matters Committee.
The proposed new law would also have precluded limits on the rights of condominium councils or individual unit owners to bring claims relating to an alleged failure of the developer to comply with building codes, county approved plans and specifications, product manufacturer’s installation instructions, and other construction industry standards. Both the Senate and House bills proposed the enactment of new Section 11-134.1 in the Maryland Condominium Act, and prohibit provisions designed to prevent the filing of a claim within the applicable period of limitations or prevent claims from accruing pursuant to the “discovery rule.” The new law would have also precluded provisions requiring a vote of the unit owners approving the initiation of a claim, unless such a requirement is adopted after the unit owners assume control of the community from the developer.