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Bill To License And Regulate Property Managers Fails In Maryland General Assembly

A bill to license and regulate property managers that had passed in the Maryland House of Delegates died in committee in the Maryland Senate.  By a vote of 103 – 35, the  House had passed HB 576, which would establish a new regulatory agency for the licensing of community managers of condominiums, cooperative housing corporations, and homeowners associations.  However, a cross-filed bill in the Senate never made it out of committee.

The legislation proposed the creation of a nine-member “State Board of Common Ownership Community Managers” in the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.  A license from the Board would be required in order to provide property management services to a common ownership community.  Applicants would be required to complete a training program and pass an examination.  Licenses would be renewable every two years.  The Board would have the power to deny, suspend or revoke licenses for various wrongful acts, and impose monetary penalties for misconduct.  Licensees would be required to to provide a fidelity bond or other insurance in the lesser amount of $2,000,000 or the aggregate amount of operating reserve balances of all communities that they manage.  There is also provision for a  limited license could be issued to persons providing management services under the supervision of a licensed manager.  The bill would require  all condominiums,  cooperatives and  homeowners associations to annually register with the Board and identify any licensed community manager.  A prior version of the bill had proposed to limit the registration requirement to larger communities, but that limitation was deleted from the final version.

Similar legislation was being considered in in the Senate as SB 794, but never got out of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.