The General Assembly Session ended on Monday, April 12, 2021. At the top of the legislature’s agenda in this session were COVID relief and Policing Reform. Here’s what happened to the bills focused on HOA/Condo issues that MVF was following.
SB0535 – Establishing Quorum for Annual Meetings: Montgomery Village’s Senator Nancy King introduced SB0535 this session, and it PASSED, which will make it easier for associations to establish a quorum for Annual Meetings.
HB 313 – Reserve Studies: To require state-wide reserves studies did not pass. It is likely to be seen in the next session since it was approved by the House. However, HB567, requiring reserves studies only in Montgomery County, did PASS. Reserves Studies will now be required in 2 Maryland Counties, Montgomery and Prince George’s.
HB109/SB254 HB 109/SB254 – Maryland Swimming Pool and Spa Standards: Both these bills did not pass. The House passed its Bill109, but the Senate did not pass either bill. The bills are likely to be introduced again in the next session, building on work done in previous years to improve these standards.
HB0110/SB0144 – Electric car charging stations in Common Ownership Communities: Both these bills PASSED, requiring associations to permit car charging stations.
HB248 – Association regulation of Composting: This bill PASSED, prohibiting communities from unreasonably regulating composting by unit owners. MVF worked with the sponsor to amend the bill to allow reasonable restrictions as to location of composting activity.
HB0322 – Association regulation of Low Impact Landscaping: This bill PASSED, prohibiting communities from unreasonably restricting low impact landscaping, such as combinations of rocks and vegetation that do not require watering.
HB367 – Community Manger Licensing: This bill did not pass (the bill did not apply to MVF managers because our managers only provide services to MVF-affiliated communities).
HB772 – Exemption of Debtor Assets: This bill was withdrawn by Montgomery County Delegate Queen. It would have permitted debtors, such as MVF owners delinquent in their assessments, to retain up to $2,600 in bank accounts that creditors sought to garnish after obtaining a judgment.
HB0826 – Dispute resolution process for HOAs and Condos: This bill did not pass. It would have created a process for associations whose governing documents do not include a process. It passed in the House only.
HB1023/SB0686 – Virtual Meetings: Both these bills PASSED, expanding the authority of associations to permit boards and committees to meet virtually.
HB1305 – Reduction of insurance coverage required on detached condo units: This bill did not pass.
HB1347 – Restrictions on Portable Basketball Equipment: Montgomery County’s Delegate Kumar Barve sponsored this bill to prohibit associations from imposing unreasonable restrictions on portable basketball equipment through provisions in deeds, covenants, bylaws, and rules. The bill has a standard for “unreasonable” that is used in several other Maryland laws to evaluate association regulations of owner activity—generally the regulation can’t increase the cost of the activity the owner seeks to do, or decease the owners’ ability to use a product as it was intended to be used. The bill had broad support in both the House and Senate, including Montgomery County Senator Will Smith, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones.