Beginning June 1, 2009, Maryland Law HB287, approved by the Governor May 19, went into effect. The bill discusses Real Property Condominiums — Damage and Destruction. Here is a copy of the bill .
What this means for the Towson condo owner is that before this bill, condominium associations, for the most part, were responsible for structural repairs and maintenance to common areas and units, while individual unit owners were only responsible for personal property in their own units. (Some condo association policies were not this way to begin with, so this new bill will not affect you if the general insurance policy in your community did not cover this before).
The new bill states that the associations are required to maintain insurance ONLY on the common areas and not on individual units. In addition, any damage to common areas originating from YOUR unit would have YOU responsible to pay up to$5,000, the maximum deductible allowed on the insurance policy of the association.
Also, to be clear, you as a unit owner, are responsible for damage caused by your unit to other units. For example, if you live on the third floor of your Towson condo building, and you have a leak from your shower that flows down through the second floor unit down to the first, YOU, as owner of the unit where the issue originated, would be responsible to the repairs to the OTHER units as well.
Here is a summary of the bill from State Surge, a great site where you can read & review laws enacted by your local government.
The best course of action for Towson condo owners (and for ALL Maryland condo owners), is to call your insurance agent right away to find out what your personal insurance policy is, and ensure you have complete coverage so that in the event of a problem, your insurance may pay that $5,000 deductible — instead of YOU personally!