The homeowners’ association (HOA) establishes and enforces the rules and responsibilities of homeowners within a neighborhood. However, Maryland’s laws control the actions that all community associations take. The legislation determines how associations are formed, the rights of each member and the extent of their powers over other people.
When the HOA is sued in court
The Court of Special Appeals recently called on a homeowners’ association’s board to defend its decision in raising fees. The claim is that the board’s townhouse owners are self-serving and targeting apartment renters. Critics claim that the increased fees benefit the townhome-owning members more than the apartment residents.
How the law helps
Community association law protects the best interests of Maryland residents when the HOA board members do not. Any resident who suspects a violation of the HOA rules has the right to appeal to higher courts. The law supersedes the terms of your homeowners’ association’s policy that are attached to your home’s rental or ownership.
The HOA has the right to enforce its rules and regulations. However, you are obligated to understand the extent of their powers and the extent of your own rights as a property owner.
When the homeowners association is not right
The HOA is generally a very small number of elected officials who maintain total control over the running of a neighborhood. There are often more members of the association who lack participation in the decision making. The HOA is not always easy for a homeowner to deal with, and in rare cases, it’s necessary for the court to step in and take over the duties of governing a private, residential community.