Single-Family Home

A single-family detached home is probably the most desired housing product on the market today. This consists of a home that is detached from the street, property boundaries, and neighboring lots. Many of these homes are now part of a planned unit development (PUD) program that includes HOAs and restrictions that manage how homeowners are permitted to use the property.

A better way of thinking of this product is that the purchaser is not buying a home, they are buying a lifestyle.

Reiner v. Ehrlich

66 A.3d 1132 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2013).


Whether the HOA denial was improper.


When the HOA is not acting in bad faith or fraud, the decision made by the HOA is going to be afforded the business judgment rule in which the court will not interfere.


There was no evidence of bad faith or fraud, affirmed.


The Reiners sought to replace the roof on their home. According to the HOA provisions, a home in their neighborhood only permitted “natural cedar shake or natural slate, synthetic cedar, synthetic slate” up to a certain fire hazard grade. However, the Reiners sought to replace their home with asphalt. When their application was denied by the HOA Modification Committee, they sought to build anyways. Upon learning of this intent, the HOA sent a cease and desist letter, then sued.


There was nothing wrong with the HOA bylaws or restrictions. Because the court is going to give deference to the HOA via the business judgment rule, the decision will stand unless there is a showing that it was made by fraud or bad faith. Here, there was no evidence of either fraud or bad faith so the decision will stand.


A condominium is a single unit within g a multiunit project. The owner of the condominium has ownership rights in the unit they possess and then collective rights within the common elements, such as a yard, exterior, etc.

To form a condominium, the development creates a Declaration of Condominium where they describe the rules and obligations of the condominium unit owners association (essentially an HOA) and enforces those restrictions.

When it comes to the sale of units, typically the association has the right of first refusal, meaning they have the first option to purchase the unit from the owner (thus putting restrictions on who can buy the unit).

Anderson v. Council of Unit Owners of Gables on Tuckerman Condominium

948 A.2d 11 (Md. 2008).


“Whether a condominium council of owners is required . . . to repair or replace what has commonly been thought of as property included in an individual condominium unit, after a casualty loss.”


According to the governing document, a master insurance policy covers the condominium (common areas), while the unit owner needs to obtain an additional insurance policy for their unit.


The association was not liable, affirmed.


Anderson owned a two story unit within the Grables condominium project. A water heater on the second story broke and flooded the kitchen of the lower story, causing over 6,000 in damages. The apartment complex refused to apply their insurance policy to repair the damage and instead Anderson had to pay a 250 copay while her insurance company covered the damages. Together Anderson and her insurance company initiated this lawsuit to recover the costs associated with the repair.


There is a distinction between what is the responsibility of the condominium association and the unit owner. According to the policy, the association is responsible for maintaining insurance for the common areas and general maintenance of those areas, while the unit owner is responsible for all repairs within the home.

Cooperative Housing

Cooperative housing is essentially the same as a condominium in appearance, but vastly different in application. For instance, rather than purchasing a unit, a buyer is actually buying stock of the governing corporation and then provided a lease for the unit. Essentially, the purchase is in the organization rather than the unit. For this reason, cooperative housing is very picky in who they choose to be a part of the unit. They can deny occupancy to anyone for any reason that isn’t illegal (can’t discriminate based on race, religion, etc.).

Time-Share Housing

A time-share is essentially a condominium where the owners share the right to the same unit space, but at different times. Typically, a time-share is used for vacations where the owner goes to the unit for the space of one or two weeks, depending on their purchased interest. As with the other products, there are typically fees assessed against the owners for the upkeep of the property. Additionally, time-shares usually have exchange programs where owners can exchange their rights to another property (so they can vacation at more than one place rather than returning to the same location yearly).

Housing Accessibility

With the continued development of ownership, regulations have developed that prevent sellers from discriminating based on disability.

United States v. Edward Rose and Sons

384 F.3d 258 (6th Cir. 2004).


Whether the apartment development was inaccessible.


When two apartments share the stair landing, that landing qualifies as a common area that must be accessible. Inaccessibility may be determined by the presence of stairs to access the area.


The common area was not accessible, affirmed.


Edward Rose and Sons were developing apartments that had two entrances. The front entrance was by the parking lot, but it lead to a stair landing that descended to the lower two units. The back entrance lead directly to a landing by those two units with no stairs, but it was further away from the parking lot.

The government argues that this landing is inaccessible because it is far away from the parking lot and is not the primary entrance. Using the rule outlined above, the court agreed.


The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.