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CCOC Decision Summary

#590-0, Pereira v. Park Terrace Condominium (July 16, 2003) (Panel: Hickey, Wertlieb)

The homeowners (HO) complained that their homeowner association (HOA) violated its rules by improperly imposing two $25 fines, by improperly adopting certain rules, by improperly adopting a budget, and by improperly spending funds.

The Commission determined that it has jurisdiction under Chapter 10B of the County Code only of the two issues of improper rule adoption and improper fines, and sent those two issues for a public hearing by a hearing panel.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the HOA had rules requiring all unit owners to keep their balconies clean and prohibiting them from storing exercise equipment and household goods on them.The HOA had notified the HO that he was in violation of the rules and when he did not correct the violations it fined him $25 for not maintaining the balcony and $25 for storing furniture and equipment on the balcony.The HOA further showed that the bylaws specifically allowed the Board of Directors to adopt any rules and regulations necessary for the HOA that were not in conflict with the bylaws or with Maryland law.

The hearing panel ruled that the HOA had the authority to adopt the rules in dispute, and that the rules were not in conflict with any law or other HOA rule.It further determined that there was sufficient evidence to show that the balcony was being used for storage and was not kept in good condition; and also that the HOA had the right to regulate the use and appearance of the balcony because it was a limited common element under the rules.The panel upheld the fines, but declined to order the HO to pay attorney fees.

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