Several states have already passed laws regulating the licensing of association managers and other states have been considering legislation. Now, one county Maryland is taking things a step further. Effective January 1, 2016, Montgomery County is requiring that board members receive training and certification.

All residential common ownership communities, including homeowners’ associations, condominiums, and cooperatives are subject to the new training requirement. Commercial condominiums without residential units are not subject to the new requirement.

Board members that were elected before January 1st are grandfathered in and do not have to complete the training requirements. However, if they are re-elected to a new term in the future, they will be required to pass the training.

Any board members elected after January 1st must complete the training within 90 days of being elected.

Under the law, every association in Montgomery County is required to annually certify that it’s board members have complied with the training requirements.

What does this mean for your association?

Unless you live in Montgomery County Maryland, then these rules do not apply to your board. However, we believe it will be more common for future counties and possibly even state legislatures to enact requirements. Some argue that this is an undue burden for board members who already volunteer their time and are not compensated for their service. Others argue that these requirements should be necessary because board members are ultimately responsible for the finances in the community and have a fiduciary responsibility.

While chances are your state or county do not require your board to undergo training, we recommend that all board members take the opportunity to learn about the importance of the position and the responsibilities that come with it. CSM can help your association board with common questions. There are also lots of resources online from the Community Association Institute.

If you are on the board of directors for your community, we encourage you to contact us to see how we can help you with your association’s financial management.