By a vote of 103 – 35, the Maryland House of Delegates has passed HB 576, which would establish a new regulatory agency for the licensing of community managers of condominiums, cooperative housing corporations, and homeowners associations.
It proposes the creation of a nine-member “State Board of Common Ownership Community Managers” in the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. A license from the Board would be required in order to provide property management services to a common ownership community. Applicants would be required to complete a training program and pass an examination. Licenses would be renewable every two years. The Board would have the power to deny, suspend or revoke licenses for various wrongful acts, and impose monetary penalties for misconduct. Licensees would be required to to provide a fidelity bond or other insurance in the lesser amount of $2,000,000 or the aggregate amount of operating reserve balances of all communities that they manage. There is also provision for a limited license could be issued to persons providing management services under the supervision of a licensed manager.
The bill would require all condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners associations to annually register with the Board and identify any licensed community manager. A prior version of the bill had proposed to limit the registration requirement to larger communities, but that limitation was deleted from the final version.
A resident of a community who provides property management services without compensation would be exempt from the licensing and regulatory requirements. Similar legislation is being considered in in the Maryland Senate as SB 794.