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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am a homeowner (Condo) in Howard Country Maryland. Recently

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I am a homeowner (Condo) in Howard Country Maryland. Recently the homeowner association board authorized an addendum allowing the Association Company to basically dictate rental polices (leases only for 1 year, no subleases etc). Some of the other conditions in the addendum are very controling including authorizing the association as a third party beneficiary. When asked I was basically told I could not modify it and I had to take it as it is. Each addendum is to the owner individually. I also asked for clarification on some of the things The third party beneficiary was one and I was not provided that. If I do not sign and return it, my tenant will not be able to utilize the community pool. Do I have any rights at all in this situation.

Thank you for your question.

Restricting an owner’s ability to rent his property in a HOA is a topic of much discussion and debate. The rational behind a HOA’s ability to restrict rental activity within an HOA is rooted in the ability to amend the HOA’s restrictive covenants to add further
restrictions binding the property. When an owner purchases a lot within an HOA, the owner is deemed to have been placed on notice that the HOA is a deed-restricted community subject to restrictive covenants, so long as restrictive covenants have been duly recorded with the county recorder in which the lot is located.

The vast majority of restrictive covenants contain an amendment provision, which would allow owners within the HOA to delete, alter, or add restrictive covenants. If restrictive covenants contain provisions that allow owners to delete, alter or add restrictive covenants, all current and future owners will be bound by any deletion, alteration or addition to the restrictive covenants, so long as the provisions of the amendment provision are met and the
amendment is uniformly applied to all owners.

If a HOA’s Declaration/Bylaw/Articles of Incorporation have a provision that allows them to be amended to add further restrictions on the property, then this fact places all current and future owners on notice that the CC&Rs may change, subsequent to his purchase of a lot, to add or remove restrictions placed on his property and as such, owners have no argument concerning a valid rental restriction imposed through a valid amendment to the Controlling Documents.

So the first thing you need to do to is look at the HOA's Declaration/Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation (i.e., the Controlling Documents) to determine whether the HOA has the power to make these restrictions.

If the documents show that the HOA does have this power, then you do not have any legal remedies, as the law in Maryland allows the HOA to make these sort of changes if they are originally empowered to do so through the Controlling Documents.

If the HOA does not have the power to make these changes as stated in the Controlling Documents then you could sue the HOA for a declaratory judgment to have the restrictions declared null and void.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
TexLaw and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

than you for your input. They probably have changed it to allow these restrictions. One of the other restrictions is saying I can only have a lease for 1 year. Many rental associations have variable rental periods. also one other issue is that I authorize them as a third-party Beneficiary. They would not answer what that means and also how it is applied in this case. They want the authority to evict my tenant if necessary and that I have to pay their attorney fees and services whatever they use. I have a contract with a Property management company that I am very happy with. Is that legal?

If they are allowed to make terms regarding rentals in their Controlling Documents, then it is legal.

The third party beneficiary issue likely is aimed at granting them a right to claim the rent being paid by a tenant would go to them if there are any unpaid assessments or HOA fees due.