Maine Condominium Act Amended

For the second time in four years, the Maine Legislature has amended the Maine Condominium Act in response to legislation proposed by the Maine Legislative Action Committee of the Community Associations Institute.

PMH attorney Bruce McGlauflin serves as the chairperson of the Legislative Action Committee. The legislation adopted this year (L.D. 820) amends the Act: 1) to allow e-mail notice to unit owners for annual and special meetings (to an e-mail address “specifically designated by the unit owner”); 2) to make the notice period for a proposed annual budget consistent with the notice period for an annual meeting; and 3) to specify the procedures for authorizing special assessments. The changes will become effective 90 days after the Legislature finally adjourns.

The procedural changes, allowing email notification and creating consistent notification periods, were made in response to frequent complaints by condominium association board members who have long struggled to comply with confusing and burdensome notice requirements. The change authorizing special assessments was made in response to conflicts arising between unit owners and association boards about when and under what circumstances an association has authority to make special assessments. Under the new law, a special assessment may be ratified by unit owners in the regular budget process only if the entire assessment payment is due during the current budget year.

If special assessment payments come due after the budget year, ratification requires a vote of the majority interest of all unit owners. The association board may approve a special assessment without unit owner ratification if the assessment does not exceed the amount of two regular monthly assessments and the board determines that the special assessment is necessary to meet an emergency.