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Legislature Passes Measure Authorizing Condominiums to Require Unit Owner Insurance

The Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 679, which permits condominiums to adopt a requirement that  unit owners maintain insurance on their units.  The bill was signed into law by the Governor on April 12, 2011, and takes effect October 1, 2011.   The law adds new Section 11-114.2 to the Maryland Condominium Act to provide that condominium bylaws may include a provision requiring that all unit owners maintain insurance on their units, and that unit owners provide evidence of such insurance to the council of unit owners on an annual basis.  The measure further amends Section 11-104 to specifically authorize a condominium’s council of unit owners to amend the community’s bylaws to require unit owner insurance.   Significantly, the law provides that such amendments require the affirmative vote of only 51% of the unit owner votes.  This is an express exception to the requirement contained in Section 11-104(e)(2), which mandates that amendments to a condominium’s delclaration or bylaws have the support of at least two-thirds of the unit owner votes, and permits the governing documents to provide for a higher, but not lower, percentage.  The new law permits an amendment to require unit owner insurance by a simple majority.