B.B. from Anne Arundel County, Maryland writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If you live in Maryland and you owned your home years before a HOA was created, can you be forced to join the HOA?
Mister Condo replies:
B.B., I would think not. Homes that were built before an HOA was created should be able to maintain their sovereignty as single-family homes. Keep in mind that I am neither an attorney nor an expert in Maryland’s common interest association law so for a legal opinion, you should seek the opinion of a locally qualified attorney. That being said, if you decide against joining the HOA you should also expect that the HOAs amenities would be off limits to you. The pool, the clubhouse, the tennis courts, whatever they offer to HOA members they could deny to you or charge you a fee if they so choose. All that being said, you should weigh the pros and cons of joining the HOA, especially if it surrounds your property. While you cannot be denied entrance or egress from your property, there may be other benefits to joining, even beyond the use of amenities. Perhaps services such as lawn care, bundled TV, phone, and internet, security systems and more may make joining all the more worthwhile. If nothing else, having a well-run HOA around your property may just increase its value. All the best!