5 HOA Laws That Maryland Homeowners Should Know


To continue our legislative education on homeowners associations, IKO Community Management lists the top new laws in Maryland that homeowners should know:

Amendments To Governing Documents - HOA (2017). This law authorizes an HOA to amend its governing documents by the affirmative vote of at least 60 percent of the votes by owners in “good standing” (defined as a homeowner not being more than 90 days in back assessments to the homeowners association) or by a lower percentage, if permitted by the governing documents.

“This bill doesn’t apply to an HOA that issues bonds or other long-term debt secured in whole or...part by annual charges assessed in accordance with its governing documents or to a village or community association affiliated with the” association, according to the Maryland Homeowners Association (MHA).

HOA Resale Inspection Fee (2017). An association may charge a fee of up to $50 to conduct an inspection in connection with the resale of a lot if the inspection is required by the association's documents.

Homeowners Association Elections-Enforcement By The Division of Consumer Protection (2011). This law “authorizes a lot owner who believes the HOA board of directors has failed to comply with the election provisions of the association’s governing documents to submit the dispute to the Division of Consumer Protection, OAG,” according to the MHA.

Real Property - Contract For Sale Of New Home (2015). According to the General Assembly of Maryland, this law requires “a contract for the initial sale of a new home to” do the following:  

  • Include a specified provision under specified circumstances
  • Authorize a seller or purchaser to declare a specified contract void and of no effect under specified circumstances
  • Require a seller to return to a purchaser any deposit paid under a specified contract under specified circumstances
  • Require a deposit held by a licensed real estate broker to be distributed in accordance with specified provisions of law

Short-Term Rentals (2018). Beginning July 1, 2018, a rentable home in Montgomery County, Maryland, will be permitted if these rentals are the primary residence of the owner or owner-authorized resident of the rental property.

According to Thomas Schild Law Group, “A home can be used for a short-term rental for up to 120 days in a calendar year where the owner or authorized resident is not physically present and occupies the residence during the rental stay.

No limit [exists] on the number of days the home can be used for a short-term rental where the owner or authorized resident is present and occupies the home. Up to six adults and no more than two adults per bedroom are permitted.”

“To address concerns of neighboring residents about ‘party house’ rentals, only registered guests will be allowed on the [rented] property with no visitors except persons visiting the primary resident.”

Individual Maryland homeowner associations are allowed to continue banning or restricting short-term rentals.

In order to begin short-term rentals, the renter must obtain a license from Montgomery County to “certify that the use is not prohibited by the association governing documents and that the association fees for the property are not more than 30 days past due.”

Smoke Alarm Law (2018). “Maryland will require homeowners to replace...traditional battery-operated devices with new tamper resistance 10-year, lithium ion battery smoke alarms” for about 800 thousand homeowners.

In Harford County, Maryland, residents can request up to three free 10-year smoke alarms from their nearest fire company through a program funded by the American Red Cross.

Read more from The Pivec Group of Keller Williams Gateway here, or check out home requirements for Montgomery County here.

Towing Or Removal Of Vehicles From Parking Lots (2013). This law places a limit on what is charged and states that photographic evidence of a violation must be present.

For a full guide to the new laws in Maryland for 2018, click on the button below:

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