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Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Expressly Authorize Baltimore County Homeowner Associations To Bring Nuisance Actions

House Bill 496, now pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would give express authority to Homeowner and Community Associations in Baltimore County to bring a court action seeking relief from or abatement of an alleged nuisance.  Under current Section 14-125 of the Real Property Article, “community associations” have authority to seek injunctive or other relief in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County for abatement of a nuisance.  However, a community association” is limited to a “non-profit corporation.”   The proposed legislation would broadly expand the definition of a “community association” to include a “non-profit association, corporation, or other organization.”  Current law also requires that “community associations” be comprised of “at least 20% of the total number of households as members, with a minimum of 40 or more individual households as defined by specific geographic boundaries in the bylaws or charter of the community association.”  The proposed legislation would do away with these requirements, and simply require that the association, corporation or other organization be “composed of residents of a community defined by specific geographic boundaries.”  As such, it could be read to apply to condominium councils of unit owners as well as homeowner associations.