Legislation allowing condominium conversions in Maryland to begin before all tenants of a property have moved out was passed in the last moments of the Maryland legislature and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Harry Hughes.
While tenants will still have six months to move out before buildings are converted, the developer will be able to sell the apartments as they empty instead of having to wait for six months to make the first sale.
Other provisions of the legislation:
The number of unit votes needed to make amendments to a condo's bylaws has been reduced from three-fourths of the unit owners to two-thirds.
Disclosure of a limited amount of consumer information will be required for resale of a condominium unit. Complete disclosure is already required for the initial sale.
A technical change in the exisiting code puts into effect consumer protection against so-called "sweetheart" contracts between the developers and close associates to the detriment of condominium owners. For example, a devloper might contact with his cousin to manage the swimming pool for many years at an exhorbitant rate. The condo association now has the right to void that contract. This law was passed some time ago but a typographical error rendered it ineffective.
The bill, drafted by the Maryland Bar Association, was a watered-down version of one proposed by the state's Commission on Condominiums.