There have recently been cases of financial irregularities with Maryland HOAs, and one lawmaker is pushing for more regulation. He is seeking more protection for consumers. The aim is to train community managers to know the rules in order to make decisions that benefit the homeowners as well as the HOA.
Communities do not have many requirements for a person to be a manager of a community. The lawmaker is pushing for legislation that will protect consumers by making the manager undergo training and then get licensed.
Only need a business card
The sponsor of the bill contends that all you need is a business card, and you can become a property manager. This property manager may have responsibility for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Homeowners take many of these managers to court, and they often do not get their money back, which the manager spent on clothing, cars and personal expenses.
HOA money missing
In one case, homeowners say a board member of an HOA embezzled over $100,000. They faced criminal charges, but it took three years to get the money back.
Bill would provide licensing
The bill, House Bill 26, would require licensing for anyone who provides management services and accepts compensation, including homeowners serving on boards of community associations. The bill sponsor feels that members who live in a community a long time may not especially be right for the board. That is not enough of a requirement to serve in a position that may handle large sums of money. Board members may also make decisions for everyone in that community.
HOA company not in favor
An HOA management company testified against the bill. A group of community associations says that the bill is redundant. They say that community managers, in the best practice, may earn national certification, with annual training. They say the bill would cost taxpayers and members of their association more than $100,000.
They feel that the best legislation is no legislation. Homeowners, however, feel that the law may make their community more harmonious.
Some say that more regulation is a need when it comes to HOAs and community managers. House Bill 26 would require more training as well as licensing for people who manage a community.