The Ridgely Condominium v. Smyrnioudis

681 A.2d 494 (1996)

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The Ridgely Condominium v. Smyrnioudis

Maryland Court of Appeals
681 A.2d 494 (1996)

Facts

Commercial-condominium-unit owners (plaintiffs) sued the Ridgely Condominium Association (the association) (defendant), to enjoin it from enforcing a bylaw amendment prohibiting the commercial-unit owners’ clients from using the condominium lobby to enter and exit professional offices in the commercial units. The association amended the bylaw after the lobby was renovated, residential-unit owners expressed safety concerns, and the commercial-unit owners failed to voluntarily stop using the lobby or follow an association resolution. Under the Maryland Condominium Act (the act), unit owners held a hybrid property interest, including exclusive ownership of individual units and a tenancy in common with other unit owners in the common elements. The act and the condominium declaration required unanimous consent for any amendments altering the percentage interests in common elements. The trial and special appeals courts ruled for the commercial-unit owners, finding that the amended bylaw was not reasonably related to the health, happiness, and enjoyment of unit owners. The association appealed, arguing that the amendment was simply a use restriction requiring only a two-thirds vote of unit owners. The commercial-unit owners argued that the amendment violated the act and the condominium declaration by taking their property rights, which would require unanimous consent of all unit owners.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, C.J.)

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