Maryland HOA Laws

There are certain Maryland HOA laws that all homeowners associations must comply with to avoid legal problems. But, what are these laws anyway?


For Homeowners Associations

The Maryland Homeowners Association Act controls the creation, authority, operation, and management of homeowners associations in the state. You can find it under Real Property, Title 11B of the Maryland Code. It consists of 35 sections, namely:


For Condominiums

The Maryland Condominium Act governs the formation, operation, and management of all condominium associations in the state, except as otherwise stated within the statute. Condominiums created before July 1, 1982 don’t need to amend their governing documents to comply with the Act.

You can find the Maryland Condominium Act under Real Property, Title 11 of the Maryland Code. It consists of 57 sections, namely:


For Cooperatives

The Maryland Cooperative Housing Corporation Act governs the creation, ownership rights, management, and voting of cooperatives in the state. You can find this Act under Sections 5-6B-01 through 5-6B-33 of the Maryland Code. It consists of 33 sections, namely:


Maryland HOA Laws on Corporate Governance

Under Maryland law, most associations incorporate as non-stock corporations. Therefore, these associations must comply with the Maryland Non-Stock Corporation Act in terms of corporate procedure, structure, and management.

You can find this Act under Sections 5-201 through 5-208 of the Maryland Code. It consists of 9 sections, namely:


Maryland HOA Laws on Property Use Restrictions

Many homeowners associations have certain restrictions when it comes to how members can use their property. The HOA laws of Maryland, though, prohibit HOAs from adopting some restrictions. Here are a few examples:

  • Display of the U.S. Flag. Associations may not prohibit homeowners from respectfully displaying one removable flag of the United States on their property. The manner in which they display the flag, though must coincide with the provisions set forth in the U.S. Code Sections 4 to 10.
  • Right to Dry. In Maryland, Section 14-130 protects homeowners’ right to dry. This means HOAs can’t restrict homeowners from installing and using a clothesline.
  • Solar Rights. Section 2-119 of the Maryland Code prohibits associations from adopting unreasonable limitations on the installation or use of a solar collector system such as solar panels. According to the law, unreasonable limitations are restrictions that significantly raise the cost or reduce the effectiveness of the system.


Maryland HOA Laws on Liens

Not all states allow homeowners associations and condominiums to attach a lien and foreclose on a property. In Maryland, however, the Maryland Contract Lien Act gives associations that authority. According to this Act, associations can place a lien on a property when a contract is violated. Associations can then foreclose on that lien to collect unpaid dues from delinquent members.


Maryland HOA Laws on Fair Debt Collection

The Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act offers protection to consumers and regulates debt collection acts. It works similarly to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Under Maryland law, debt collectors may not use misleading, abusive, or unfair practices when collecting or attempting to collect a debt.

When a debt collector breaches the law, victims can privately sue them in federal or state court within a year from when the violation took place. Alternatively, victims can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Board.


Fair Housing

Much like the federal Fair Housing Act, the Maryland Discrimination in Housing Law offers protection to people from discrimination in housing. According to state-level Fair Housing laws, associations may not discriminate against people based on their color, race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, marital status, familial status, or disability.

Housing discrimination victims can take legal action against their association in federal district court. They may also file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or Maryland’s Commission on Human Relations.

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