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How To Best Deal With Neighbor Disputes In Pet Policy

When you hear a dog barking during off hours, you immediately think, “That’s not how to be a good neighbor,” or “That’s so annoying!”  You probably want to complain to all the residents in the neighborhood about the dog or

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The Top 3 Pet Policy Problems (And How To Solve Them)

Are you ready to learn how to be a good neighbor if you have pets? Check out IKO Community Management’s top pet policy problems in HOA communities and how to solve them quickly:  Problem 1: You find dog waste in

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Starting a Neighborhood Watch in Your Community

Many of our communities have expressed an interest in forming a neighborhood watch in order to assist with preventing crime and building stronger relationships with law enforcement. Though forming a neighborhood can be a great way to achieve these goals,

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What’s a Board to Do? A Guide to Resolving Disputes in Your Community

We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to give guidance to our community association clients about disputes that arise with and between their members. Communities throughout Maryland, and across the country, grapple with these questions every day. Resolving disputes

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Bankruptcy 101: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to provide guidance to our community association clients about the effects that bankruptcy has on their collections cases. The most common forms of bankruptcy by owners in the community association context are

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6 Pet Rules Every Homeowner Should Follow

If you’re wondering how to be a good neighbor, a great place to start is by understanding proper pet etiquette in an HOA community. Thankfully, many boards offer existing guidelines for you to follow, which makes everything easier.    Read the

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New Maryland Laws Governing Condominiums and HOAs

Beginning on October 1, 2017, several new laws will go into effect in Maryland governing condominiums and homeowners associations (“HOA”). With so much of new residential real estate being developed as part of an HOA or a condominium regime, these

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Can Your Homeowners Association Handle The Fair Housing Act?

As one of the touchier subjects in residential housing, the Fair Housing Act has a huge effect on community association management and homeowners associations. See IKO Community Management’s breakdown:   Read the article…………….

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What Should You Know About HOA Dues?

According to Realtor.com, the average HOA fee (also known as a due) was between $200 and $300 per month for a single-family home last year. The exact number is dependent on how many community amenities are offered, the size of

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Maryland Developer Declaration Does Not Establish Assessment Lien

A developer’s Declaration notifies the purchaser of the property of a potential lien for unpaid assessments, but is not sufficient to create an assessment lien, according to a recent decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals–the top state appeals court.

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The Top 5 Things Your HOA Board Should Avoid

Being on the homeowners association board can be a difficult task at times due to the nature of the job. However, it’s possible to run a smooth board and community by avoiding the most common mishaps amongst board members.  

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How To Ensure Your HOA Is Taking Care Of Aging Residents

It can be hard to guarantee that your aging residents are receiving proper care, and due to the increased population of residents who are 65 years old and older beginning, it’s a situation that’s becoming more prevalent for HOA communities.

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What To Do If Your Community Has A Hoarder

If you’re on the HOA board, it’s important to think about new challenges in your community. For example, hoarding is a newer issue for communities with aging-in-place residents.  Some people hoard because they believe the item will be useful in

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Fair Housing Claim Against Homeowner Association Director Allowed by District of Columbia Appeals Court

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that a board member of a homeowners association may be personally liable for violating the disability discrimination provisions of the fair housing laws by delaying action on a homeowner’s request for

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The Top 3 Solutions To Help Aging Residents In Your Community

According to the AARP, 87 percent of adults who are 65 and older would choose to age in their current home or community. This new trend is called aging in place, and it can have its benefits like avoiding high

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How You Can Help Aging Residents Fight Social Isolation

Social interaction is highly important to the mental and physical well-being of your residents, but what happens when they begin to age, leaving you to find a solution to combat social isolation.   As your residents progress through life, going

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What HOAs Should Really Know About Aging Residents

Every HOA community faces challenges with aging-in-place residents. The “Baby Boomer” generation is, on average, 65 years old and would rather stay in their home than move to a senior care center or in with another family member.   For

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U.S. District Court Allows Association’s Claims To Proceed For Actions During Period of Developer Control (MD)

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has denied a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of a developer, and allowed claims of a property owner’s association to proceed that concern actions taken while the board was

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5 No-Fail Ways To Rid Your Community Of Mosquitoes

Almost everyone can agree that summer is the most enjoyable season of the year. The days are longer, you go on family vacation, and the weather is finally warm. This creates the perfect combination until the bug bites begin…  It

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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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