The mission of Common Ownership Communities Program is to address common ownership issues by developing partnerships with association members, boards of directors, management companies and the county government. Prince George’s County bill, CB-15-2007 established the common ownership communities program to be administered by the Office of Community Relations.
The bill was based on the recommendations made by the Common Ownership Communities Task Force Report, dated September 2005. Its purpose is to assist governing bodies, owners and residents of homeowner’s residential condominiums and cooperative housing corporations with education, training and alternative dispute resolution.
The bill defines common ownership community as a condominium, a cooperative housing corporation and a homeowners’ association, all defined pursuant to state law. The program responsibilities include:
Research, assemble, analyze and disseminate pertinent data and educational materials about activities and programs which assist Common Ownership Communities; plan and conduct educational and other programs, meetings and conferences to promote the operation of Common Ownership Communities.
Maintain a roster of Common Ownership Communities, their leadership and their professional management companies, if applicable.
Develop and maintain an information, assistance and referral system for all services in the County related directly to Common Ownership Communities; and recommend other services when needed.
Maintain a collection of Common Ownership Community association documents for use as a model and for reference.
Develop an education program for residents in common ownership communities that includes but is not limited to governance, rights and duties of residents and dispute resolutions.
Develop an education program for common ownership community governing bodies that includes but is not limited to adoption and enforcement of rules, transition developer control, conduct of elections, and selection of community management and other professional services.
Operate a dispute mediation process.
The bill requires common ownership communities to register with the Office of Community Relations identifying its elected leadership and managing agents on a form provided by the office. The governing body of a homeowners’ association, the council of unit owners of a condominium and the board of directors of a cooperative housing corporation are responsible for compliance.