Baltimore, MD asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: Can you help me fight and win charges that are being incurred to me for repairs at my Condo that Insurance should pay?

The former Management Company (Community Association Management, LLC.) at my Condo in Mcdonogh Township/The Lodge section mismanaged the Property and now the buildings are unsafe. A Unit owner who is leader of the HOA (Home Owners Association) took it upon himself to fire the Community Association Management, LLC and took over as Management for the Property. He then began implementing and billing us for SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS that he has sent me to Collections for. The Lawyer subsequently sent me a LETTER OF INTENT TO CREATE A LIEN on my Property. I am not responsible for repairing these buildings. When all is said and done there will be 2 million dollars in repairs. I am paying a mortgage and condo fees to live in a unsafe building where they are trying to put a lien on me. I did not break these buildings. I am only responsible for the interior and pay the condo fee for the exterior of this building. I believe that Insurance should be paying for these repairs.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Most of your question involves "governance" of the HOA. I'm sure you are familiar with the by-laws, rules and statutes that dictate how management is conducted, and how leadership can be changed. Are you a Board member? Perhaps you should be.

The courts give the Board great deference in how the HOA is run, as long as they stay within the lines. Whether to access insurance or create a special assessment may fall within a broad range of "discretion" held by the Board. But I haven't read the by-laws.

We have been involved in very difficult HOA disputes where mis-management rendered some units uninhabitable, and devalued others and caused loss of insurance coverage. Our clients spent tens of thousands of dollars seeking relief, to qualified success.

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