Homeowners & Condominium Law
Our firm currently represents over 35 condominium and homeowner associations in Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Charles County, Maryland, helping them draft and modify agreements, interpret and enforce their governing documents, and aggressively pursue collection of their unpaid assessments. If you are an association seeking legal counsel or a homeowner who has a dispute with your association, please call our firm and we will help you decide if you need legal counsel to represent you.
Community Association law requires an understanding of the Maryland Homeowners Association Act, the Maryland Condominium Act, the applicable county code, and the manner in which courts interpret and apply the language in an association’s governing documents. In Montgomery County, the Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC) was created to arbitrate disputes between associations and their members, and its decisions also provide guidance in interpreting and applying these documents.
David C. Gardner is currently a Commissioner on the CCOC, and previously served as a Panel Chairman for the CCOC for ten years. In this capacity he is responsible for conducting hearings and resolving disputes between members and their associations. He is also responsible for educating the public on community association issues, and in reviewing and proposing legislation affecting community associations. He has also litigated a variety of association issues in the courts of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. This experience has given him a firm understanding of how these disputes are likely to be resolved and how to interpret and apply association documents. The knowledge gained thereby greatly assists him in representing both associations and individuals who are involved in such disputes.
In addition to our firm’s attorneys, our paralegal, Serena Wood, is heavily experienced in collecting unpaid homeowners association and condominium dues. We currently represent over fifteen associations with active collection accounts and handle the filing of unpaid dues by obtaining judgments in the District Courts of Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles County. We understand the need for aggressive collection actions in order to enforce compliance with association documents and to provide a message to the community that their assessments must be paid on a timely basis. If you have a collection problem or simply need to ensure the prompt payment of assessments to your association, please contact us to inquire about our services.
Why Hire a Maryland Condominium Association Attorney?
The world has changed and populations are more centralized and concentrated. Real estate dwellings called condominiums have formed where hundred of families live in relatively close proximity to one another in buildings with individual units sharing common areas such as a meeting house, park, parking lot, swimming pool and a fitness center. Condominiums associations members consist of residents and financial professionals and are the governing body whose job it is to make decisions that benefit the residents. When all parties can not come to an agreement on a particular issue, or when the issue is legally too challenging, there is a need for a Maryland condominium lawyer to aid in understanding or coming to an amicable resolution to condominium association issues. At the Gardner Law Firm P.C.., we have experience and knowledge regarding Maryland condominium Law and stay abreast of the latest updates and changes that can affect your association.
While no two condominium associations are the same, there are a number of functions they perform that are common to most of them.
- Upkeep of common areas, i.e., lawns, bushes, shrubbery, trees, gardens, pools, and fences, among other things.
- Maintaining and repairing the community center. – This area usually houses the sales and administrative offices of the condominium.
- Maintaining, repairing and painting the buildings’ exteriors.
- Disaster and liability insurance coverage.
- Negotiate the appropriate type and amount of coverage needed to repair damages caused by natural disasters.
- Seasonal maintenance – snow removal from parking lots and sidewalks. Prepare for the timely removal of snow and ice from storms should they occur.
- Roof and plumbing maintenance. Preparing budgets and planning for projected replacements of major building components.
- Facilitate condominium association members in obtaining FHA-Insured Condominium Loans. There have been recent changes to owner-occupancy and commercial to residential ratio limitations.
- Dealing with Fair Housing Act compliance issues as they arise.
The state of Maryland has expanded Fair Housing Act of 1968 to include prohibiting discrimination in real estate transactions based on marital status, gender identification or sexual orientation.
- Understanding the Maryland Condo and HOA Resale Disclosure Law. Changes have been made to the disclosure requirements pertaining to any pending lawsuits or unsatisfied judgments against the condominium.
- Dispute Resolution
Planning for conflict dispute resolution in advance can save the condominium association thousands of dollars in legal fees and help relieve the overcrowded Maryland court system from needless litigation. Knowing and planning in advance and modeling your agreement after successful Maryland condominium associations is the smart thing to do and can free the association to become productive and efficient and serve the members of their community. Our Maryland condominium attorneys can function as the quarterback of your team of bankers, insurance agents, and accounts.
Please call Maryland condominium association attorneys at the Gardner Law Firm P.C. today and schedule an appointment.