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:
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:
- Creation Of Condominium Regime
- Notice Required Before Conversion To Condominiums
- Procedures For Termination Of Leases
- Condominium Declarations
- Corrections To Declarations, Bylaws, Or Plats
- Bylaws Of Condominium
- Condominium Plats
- Incidents And Descriptions Of Condominium Units
- Percentage Interests Of Unit Owners In Common Elements
- Rights Of Unit Owners In Common Elements
- Duties To Maintain, Repair, And Replace Common Elements And Units
- Council Of Unit Owners
- Meetings Of Board Of Directors
- Preparation Of Annual Budget
- Quorum Requirements And Appointment Of Receiver
- Distribution Of Common Profits And Expenses
- Rules Adopted For Condominiums
- Family Child Care Homes And No–Impact Home-Based Businesses
- Candidate Signs Or Signs Relating To Voter Propositions
- Distribution Of Information, Application; Door-To-Door Distribution
- Allocation Of Eminent Domain Awards And Damages
- Dispute Settlement Mechanisms
- Mandatory Insurance Coverage
- Purchase Of Fidelity Insurance By Condominium Governing Body
- Condominium Bylaws Requiring Insurance Coverage
- Improvements Or Alterations To Units By Unit Owners
- Maintenance Of Books And Records
- Repealed By Acts 1985, C. 480, § 2, Eff. Feb. 1, 1986
- Mechanics’ Liens Or Materialmen’s Liens
- Service On Council Of Unit Owners
- Expansion Of Condominiums
- Deposits Made On New Condominiums
- Building Codes Or Zoning Laws, Ordinances, And Regulations
- Termination Of Condominiums
- Construction Of Title, Declarations, Bylaws, Or Other Instruments
- Easements, Encroachments, And Boundary Presumptions
- Disclosure Requirements
- Registration Requirements
- Powers And Duties Of Secretary Of State
- Sales Of Condominiums Located Elsewhere
- Consumer Protection Standards And Enforcement
- Warranties Applicable To Units And Common Elements
- Documents Required From Developer
- Termination Of Leases And Contracts
- Employment Of Developer Or Affiliate To Effect Sale Or Lease Of Unit
- Claims Against Condominium Developers And Vendors; Unenforceability Of Provisions That Reduce Unit Owner’s Or Council Of Unit Owners’ Rights
- Resale Contract Requirements
- Tenant’S Right To Buy Property
- Lease Extensions To Designated Households
- Restrictions Relating To Conversion Of Rental Facilities To Condominium Regime
- Purchase Of Rental Facilities By Local Governments
- Notice Of Meeting Or Delivery Of Information By Electronic Transmission
- Voting By Electronic Transmission
- Legislative Intent
- Construction And Application Of Title
- Application Of Title To Condominiums Existing Before July 1, 1982
- Short Title
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.
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.