As an HOA or condo association board, keeping up with the latest legal regulations can be a tough chore. To help you stay attuned to the most recent developments in Maryland HOA law, Comsource has pulled together this update on the 2018 Maryland legislative session as it pertains to HOA and condo association operations.

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Preventing and managing legal challenges from residents, the government, the larger community or even fellow board members is always challenging. What is sometimes overlooked by HOA boards is the aftermath of legal action against a community. So, the HOA has lost a legal case--now what? Like preventing and managing legal issues, the aftermath of a lost case needs to be planned for and then facilitated carefully.

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Okay, so you’ve made your best effort to resolve conflict. You’ve attempted mediation but your HOA board is now a party in a lawsuit. Now what?

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Every community and every HOA board will encounter conflict at some point. Communities are complicated just like the people that inhabit them. HOA boards that accept and prepare for this reality in their governing documents and through training, while remaining sensitive to resident needs and emotions, are better able to resolve disputes quickly and before they result in a lawsuit.

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CC&Rs. Bylaws. Rules and regulations. These terms get tossed around freely, causing a lot of confusion about them and how they relate to the proper governance of an HOA community.

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Your community rules exist to protect residents, preserve property values, protect financial integrity and generally to make your community a great place to live. As an HOA or condo association board, it is your fiduciary responsibility to enforce your CC&Rs, bylaws and rules and regulations documents.

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Covenants, conditions and restrictions-otherwise known as CC&Rs-are part of a suite governance documents the regulate homeowners association-run communities. As we discussed in prior posts, CC&Rs and bylaws are legal documents filed with appropriate legal authorities, which means changing these important documents is not to be done lightly.

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As part of your board you are an ambassador for the association and the community. How you behave, what you say and what you post will have an impact on how your board is perceived by the residents and the public at large.

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Social media is an outstanding tool for disseminating information, creating community and accurately targeting the right audiences for your messages. However, there are risks involved. HOAs and condo association boards must take a proactive and educated approach to this communication tool to avoid negative consequences.

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The world of social media presents its users with a double-edged sword. On the one hand, users enjoy access to troves of information, can remain connected with friends and family and comment on silly videos or hot political topics. However, social media also has its pitfalls and dangers, like Facebook collecting and sharing personal information without permission or a video or Tweet that goes out and can’t be taken back before the damage is done.

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