Information Sources

Montgomery County Common Ownership Community Manual and Resource Guide: This updated (2014) manual is intended to serve as a resource for all common ownership communities in Montgomery County, Maryland and beyond.  It was prepared by members of the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities.

Montgomery County Common Ownership Commission Frequently Asked Questions: This recent addition (September 2011) to the Commission’s web site has valuable information for any homeowner.

National Association of Consumer Advocates:NACA is a non-profit association of attorneys and consumer advocates committed to representing customers’ interests. The members are private and public sector attorneys, legal services attorneys, law professors and law students whose primary focus is the protection and representation of consumers. NACA also has a charitable and educational fund incorporated under §501 (c) (3).

Community Association Governance Guidelines: CAI’s Center for Community Association Volunteers has prepared these governance guidelines to help board members and homeowners sustain more effective harmonious communities. CAI Reading Room: This link contains informative excerpts from many of the publications available in the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Bookstore.

CAI Certified Assn Manager Complaints:  CAI certified managers use the designations PCAM, AMS and CMCA after their names. CAI has manager standards and has a mechanism in place for lodging complaints. Call CAI at 888-224-4321 or click on the link above. The complaint form is at the bottom of the CAI page.  Managers have lost their CAI certification for unethical behavior.

Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission: If you or your community feel you are getting unprofessional legal services you may file a complaint against your attorney with the above Commission. There is a list of disbarred and disciplined attorneys on this web site.

The Peoples Law Library of Maryland:

Maryland’s Peoples Law Library (PLL) is a legal information and self-help website maintained by theMaryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, and supported by Maryland’s non-profit legal services providers. Various sections of this site have been developed by different legal aid programs, public interest attorneys, other community advocacy groups and the Maryland Legal Assistance Network (MLAN). This award-winning website uses established standards of excellence and a Content Advisory Committee of legal professionals consults on the development of its content.

This site provides information on Maryland and Federal law affecting low- and moderate-income Marylanders and their families. The public can find help using this site at outreach centers and law libraries throughout the state.

Maryland Commission on Civil Rights:  If you feel you are being discriminated against by your association and/or manager, you can file a complaint with the Maryland Commission of Human Relations.  This Commission recently (2010) sued an association and property management company for discriminating against a disabled resident.  For more information go tohttp://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/11/28014.htm

Maryland Insurance Administration:  Many Condo/HOA issues revolve around property insurance.  Clicking on this link will bring you to the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) Home Page. If you feel you are getting misleading information from your Board, Property Manager or Insurance Agent, from Home Page click on “Consumer Information”, then “File a Complaint.” Use the “Property & Casualty” form for Condo/HOA issues. You can file a complaint on-line, by fax or by letter.  Condo owners should note that as of June 1, 2009, condominium master policy insurance policies must cover both general common elements and common elements in units. Up to $5000 of the deductible will be the responsibility of the unit owner where the damage originated. Each unit owner must be informed in writing each year as to the amount of the deductible.

With MIA Condominium Insurance Bulletin 09-22, August 31, 2009, MIA warns consumers that some management companies are telling unit owners that their claims are not covered and telling the insurer that there is no claim to be investigated; essentially blocking the unit owner from making a claim under the master policy. This type of action is inconsistent with the amendments made to the Condo Act.

People’s Insurance Counsel Division: This division is located in the Maryland office of the Attorney General. Professionals there will discuss homeowner insurance problems with consumers to answer questions and explain the process available in Maryland for review of complaints.

Maryland Foreclosure Prevention Service: The Maryland General Assembly has enacted legislation (2007) that provides foreclosure prevention resources to homeowners.  The Project HOPE, Homeowners Preserving Equity web site can be accessed by clicking above.  To speak to a counselor call 1-877-462-7555.  Other services that can help you are: Maryland Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project, Civil Justice Network, Legal Aid in Marylandand Neighborhood Legal Services (District.)

HOATalk.comHOATalk is a nationwide website where association leaders can meet, share ideas and learn. The site offers an online discussion forum where thousands of HOA leaders and professionals discuss ways to better run their community associations. HOATalk also offers daily HOA news and archived news articles.