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Should You Hire A Landscaping Company To Help Your Community?

No one wants to be surrounded by boring or unappealing green areas, especially not homeowners. According to REALTOR® Magazine, quality landscaping can increase the value of your home by 12 percent.  One of the perks of living in a HOA

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Right To Terminate Developer Contracts Must Be Exercised Within Three Years (MD)

Section 11-133 of the Maryland Condominium Act gives a council of unit owners the right to terminate leases, management contracts, employment contracts, and other contracts entered into by the developer during the period that the developer had control of a

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Enforcing Mechanic’s Liens Against Condos in Maryland & DC

This article discusses the unit owner notice and party inclusion requirements necessary for establishing and enforcing a mechanics’ liens against a condominium in Maryland and the District of Columbia.   Read the article……………

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16 Inexpensive Landscaping Tips For HOAs On A Budget

If your homeowners association finally has some room in the HOA budget to commit to landscaping efforts, summer is the best time to get started on re-doing those common areas.  IKO Community Management’s experts get into the weeds about how

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How To Avoid Getting HOA Fines When You’re On Vacation

It’s sweet, sweet summertime. That means you’re headed out for a much-needed family vacation. Maybe you’re off to the beach or an amusement park, but wherever you go, the last thing you want to see when you come home is

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How To Make New HOA Rules Without Being The Enemy

The key to having a great homeowners association is a valuable set of HOA rules for your homeowners and board members. These regulations set the standard of your community association, and a fair and sensible set of rules helps create

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MD Highest Court Holds That Condos May Not By Rule Suspend A Unit Owner’s Access To Common Elements For Delinquent Assessments

The Maryland Court of Appeals has invalidated a rule adopted by a condominium to suspend access to common elements for unit owners who are delinquent in paying assessments. In an opinion issued on June 23, 2017 in the case of

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Maryland Appeals Court Voids Condominium Parking Rule

A Maryland condominium Rule which barred delinquent condo owners from using the common property parking lot and swimming pool has been struck down by the Maryland Court of Appeals–the highest state appellate court.   Read the article……………

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Governor Hogan Signs Law To Require Notice To Homeowners Of Sales Of A Common Element Or Common Area

Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, has signed into law legislation passed in the General Assembly that requires a condominium council of unit owners or a homeowners association to provide at least 30-days notice to all owners of any sale, including a

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Legislation Enacted To Permit HOAs To Collect Resale Inspection Fees (MD)

Beginning in October, Maryland homeowner associations will have the right to collect a fee relating to inspections during the resale process. What had been House Bill 34 in the 2017 session of the General Assembly, and has now been enacted,

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Columbia, Maryland was an early template for smart growth. It turns 50 this week.

One part real estate project, one part social experiment, Columbia, Maryland is one of the most ambitious and successful planned communities ever built in the United States. Inspired by purposely planned and built “new towns” in postwar Britain, Columbia joined

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Resident Rights: Knowing Them, Upholding Them

To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence, all men and women are created equal with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That may not be the case if you live in a condominium, co-op, or HOA,

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5 Ways You Can Make Your HOA Community Greener

Being environmentally friendly is becoming a crucial aspect of daily life. Lowering your neighborhood’s carbon footprint is something that your HOA board can do to better the Earth while teaching your community about nature and conservation.  However, going green in

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Developer Transition: MD Condos and HOAs – Part 2

This article is a continuation of “Developer Transition – Part I,” an overview of laws governing the developer transition process for condominium and homeowners associations in Maryland. Part II, below, is a transition checklist that should be addressed by the

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Developer Transition: MD Condos and HOAs – Part 1

This is a two-part article dealing with “developer transition,” the process by which the governance of a condominium or homeowners association is transferred from developer to unit owner or lot owner control. Part I, below, is an overview of the

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6 Easy Steps To Solving Neighbor Disputes Without Your HOA

Some of the most common neighbor disputes include noise, pets, children, your home’s aesthetic, property boundaries, suspected criminal behavior, building violations, and parking.  If you find yourself in one of these sticky situations (and you don’t want to draw the

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6 Mistakes That HOA Boards Can Accidentally Make

A lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of your HOA board, and it’s up to them to keep a harmonious environment between residents while increasing the value of the community as a whole.   But what happens when a

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8 Of The Most Common Neighbor Disputes (And How To Handle Them

When it comes to living in a community run by a homeowners association, it’s not always “love thy neighbor.”  While HOAs strive to keep a harmonious atmosphere, it turns out that 42 percent of homeowners say they’ve had neighbor disputes,

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A List Of New Laws In Maryland For 2017: Part II

IKO details the second half of the Community Association Institute’s new laws in Maryland:  Termination Until Service to Multifamily Dwelling Unit – Notice to Property Owner/Manager:  Requires a public service company that’s going to terminate a customer’s electric or gas

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A List Of New Laws In Maryland For 2017: Part I

IKO details the new laws in Maryland from the Community Management Institute:  Limited Residential Lodging: Innkeepers and hosting platform operators who offer specific types of limited residential lodging must maintain specified licenses and records and operate in a specified manner,

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Maryland Makes it Easier to Amend Condo Bylaws and HOA Covenants

Changes to the Maryland Condominium Act and Maryland Homeowners Association Act will soon make it easier to amend the governing documents of condominiums and homeowner associations.  The new law allows amendments to be made by a vote of members “in

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Maryland Appeals Court Slams Owner’s Door

A homeowner’s unauthorized installation of a new entry door was slammed by a Maryland appeals court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled, in Spoon v. Deering Woods Condominium, that a Howard County condominium acted properly in requiring a unit

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Proposed Legislation Would Require Condominiums To Give Unit Owners Notice Of A Sale Or Lien Affecting A Common Element

Senate Bill 809 and House Bill 1369, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would require a condominium council of unit owners to provide at least 30-days notice to all unit owners of any sale, including a tax sale, of

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2017 Maryland Condo and HOA Legislation–What’s Hot and What’s Not

With the Maryland General Assembly now in the final month of the 2017 legislative session which ends on April 10, several bills regarding community associations are still under consideration. Other bills have died in committee. A bill must be passed

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Maryland Legislature Considers Proposal To Reduce Votes Required To Amend Bylaws

House Bill 789, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would reduce the percentage of affirmative votes required to amend condominium bylaws. Under Section 11-104(e) of the Maryland Condominium Act, condominium bylaws may only be amended upon a vote of

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Proposed Maryland Law Would Require Condominiums and Homeowner Associations To Undertake Reserve Studies

House Bill 651, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would require condominiums and homeowner associations to conduct reserve studies of the common elements and common areas.    Read the article………….

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Maryland Top Court to Review Condo Towing Rule

To tow or not to tow…with apologies to William Shakespeare, that is the question at the heart of long-running litigation between an Anne Arundel County condominium and owners whose vehicles were towed from the condo parking lot. The Maryland Court

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Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Expressly Authorize Baltimore County Homeowner Associations To Bring Nuisance Actions

House Bill 496, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would give express authority to Homeowner and Community Associations in Baltimore County to bring a court action seeking relief from or abatement of an alleged nuisance. Under current Section 14-125

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Bill In the MD General Assembly Would Permit Restrictions and Prohibitions On Smoking By Condos, HOAs

House Bill 500, now pending the Maryland General Assembly, provides for a proposed amendment to Section 11-104 of the Maryland Condominium Act that would allow a condominium’s bylaws to include “a restriction or prohibition on smoking tobacco products within the

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Bills Proposed In MD Gen. Assem. To Limit Restrictions Imposed By Condo Developers re:Construction Defect claims

Proposed legislation now pending in the Maryland General Assembly would prevent condominium developers from limiting the ability of the council of unit owners and individual unit owners to bring construction defect claims for issues affecting the condominium. Senate Bill 670

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2017 Maryland Legislative Session Begins

Outside the glare of worldwide attention to the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2017 90-day legislative session in mid-January.  Some bills considered–but not enacted–in 2016 will be examined

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FHA Condo Certification Rule Awaits Review by Trump Administration

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently issued its long-awaited proposed rule regarding standards for condominiums in which individual unit owners are eligible to obtain FHA-insured loans. However, final action awaits review by new housing agency officials in the Trump Administration.

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Community Associations Countdown to Year-End!

The end of the year is approaching and before long we will be setting New Year’s resolutions for 2017. But before that new beginning, we need to wrap up 2016. For those associations whose year-end is December 31st there are

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Will Community Associations Get Trumped?

The election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States ushers in uncertainty for a variety of federal housing policies which affect the financing and governance of homes in community associations–condominiums, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives. During the

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Mittal v. Council of Unit Owners of University One Condo (MD)

Eyler, Deborah, S., Kehoe, Shaw Geter, JJ. Opinion by Kehoe, J. *This is an unreported opinion, and it may not be cited in any paper, brief, motion or other document filed in this Court or any other Maryland Court as

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Mandatory Requirements for Adoption of an Annual Budget (MD)

The Maryland Condominium Act, at Section 11?109.2, makes mandatory an annual budget, and requires that the proposed budget be submitted to the unit owner membership at least 30 days before it is adopted. It is also required that the budget

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New Fair Housing Harassment Rules Apply to Community Associations

Condominiums, housing co-ops and homeowner associations may be liable for the conduct of community residents which subjects other residents to “hostile environment harassment” under new rules issued by (HUD).

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Maryland Condo and HOA Resale Disclosure Law Revised

New resale disclosure requirements for Maryland condominiums and homeowner associations apply beginning October 1, 2016. Condos will now be required to provide prospective purchasers with the current reserve study report or a summary of the report, and a statement of

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Associations Not Required to Disclose Privileged Information

This case resulted from Clark’s request to inspect and copy legal bills and written legal advice received by the association

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Montgomery County CCOC To Require Negotiation of Association Disputes

After a year-long examination of the operations of the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC), the County Council has enacted a new law which makes changes in the CCOC dispute resolution process. More than 340,000 Montgomery County, Maryland

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Board Training Required for Condo and HOA Association Directors

Mid-way through 2016, hundreds of directors of condos, HOAs and coops in Montgomery County, Maryland have successfully completed the online training program now required by County law for directors elected, re-elected or appointed since January 1. The training program, Community

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Maryland Condominium Rule May Not Suspend Use of Common Elements by Delinquent Owner

A Maryland condominium’s policy of towing vehicles of unit owners who are delinquent in payment of condominium assessments was recently struck down by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals–an intermediate appeals court.  In an effort to get owners to pay

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Maryland Appeals Court Upholds Enforcement of Association Truck Covenant

A homeowner association restriction on trucks has been determined by a Maryland appeals court to be enforceable against the owner of a large military-style vehicle.

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Maryland Appeals Court Upholds Enforcement of Association Truck Covenant

A homeowner association restriction on trucks has been determined by a Maryland appeals court to be enforceable against the owner of a large military-style vehicle.  The 3-axle camouflaged vehicle was taller than the first story of the home and as

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Maryland General Assembly Rejects Legislation That Would Have Aided Condominium Councils and Unit Owners In Pursuing Building Defect Claims

Legislation introduced in the MD General Assembly that would have prevented developers from including provisions in condo documents that limit the developer’s liability for construction defects failed to reach a floor vote during the 2016 session.

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Tips from Our Property Management Team – Mulch

our resident Certified Landscaping Technician, shares tips below on overcoming some common misuses of mulch. Consider suggesting these to your landscaping contractor for your association’s common areas

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Montgomery County Requires Association Board Members To Complete An On-Line Education Course

Each condominium, HOA and coop in Montgomery County is required to certify to the Commission that each of its board members has completed the required training

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Mandatory Training for Community Association Board Members (MD)

Following the release of a report evaluating the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland enacted legislation that requires training and certification for board members of common ownership communities.   Read the article…………

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Maryland Condo Held In Contempt For Failing To Complete Court Ordered Repairs and Subjected To a Significant Money Judgment

The Circuit Court for Baltimore City has entered a significant money judgment against a condominium council of unit owners as a means of enforcing its prior order finding the condominium in contempt for failing to complete court ordered repairs. In

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Condo fees are a crucial element in the decision to buy a place

In addition to paying property taxes and a mortgage, condo owners have to pay a monthly maintenance fee, called a condo fee, that goes toward running the building as a whole.    Read the article………….

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