(July 24, 2020) Below is the final summary of the 2020 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly on items that were passed and put into legislation affecting the real estate industry as it relates to both Common Ownership Communities (HOA and Condo Associations) as well as Property Management.
For the complete list, visit mdrealtor.org.
HB 25/SB 293 – Condominiums and Homeowners Associations – Amendments to Declarations and Governing Documents – Effective Oct. 1, 2020.
Changes the notice requirements of Common Ownership Communities (CoCs) to lenders.
Sometimes governing documents require the notice and approval of lenders to make changes. This legislation still requires CoCs to give notice but if the lender does not object within 60 days, it is assumed that the lender granted consent.
The bill does not apply to amendments altering the priority of the lien or materially impairing the unit as collateral. The bill would also not impair the rights of the holder under the mortgage or deed of trust.
HB 108/SB 175 – Condominiums – Responsibility for Property Insurance Deductibles – Effective Oct. 1, 2020.
Makes changes to the current law regarding insurance coverage of condominium common areas.
Clarifies that the Condominium association’s insurance is responsible for damages to the common areas originating outside of the condominium and not just damages from within the common areas.
The bill also clarified that if the damage results from an owner’s unit, the owner is responsible for paying the condominium association’s deductible up to $10,000. That amount can be insured in the owner’s policy and was increased from $5,000.
HB 231/SB 530 – Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act – Effective Oct. 1, 2020.
Creates a new protected class for “source of income” for all housing discrimination.
As it applies to rentals, this provision would require landlords to accept federal housing vouchers. Landlords would still be able to determine the ability of a tenant to pay rent based on the tenants income and creditworthiness and using other commercially reasonable and nondiscriminatory methods.
HB 999/SB 540 – Member-Regulated Cooperatives – Establishment (Rural Broadband for the Eastern Shore Act of 2020) – Emergency legislation that becomes effective upon governor’s signature. Reclassifies Choptank Electric as a member-regulated cooperative that will permit Choptank to provide broadband internet services to its members.
The Eastern Shore is one of the most underserved areas of the state for broadband.
– Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.