The basic term for a condo or ‘condominium’ is a large property complex divided into individual units and sold. The ownership usually includes a non-exclusive interest in certain ‘common properties’ controlled by the condominium management.
If you have made the decision you are going to look for condos for sale for your next move, for the purpose of a property investment, or simply as a holiday property – some basic facts should help you to be well informed of a few outer rules.
We have already established that often condominiums consist of units in a multi-unit dwelling (Example: an apartment or a development) where each unit is individually owned and common features are jointly owned by all the unit owners in the building. Features that are jointly owned are things like hallways, and recreational facilities.
Condos can also consist of a single family dwelling, known as ‘detached condominiums’, where the homeowners have significantly more control over the exterior appearance. Some of these structures are preferred by planned neighbourhoods and gated communities. If you are looking for condos for sale, this kind of information is important to understand; it gives leverage onto knowing what you prefer as part of your important criteria prior to your hunt.
Common areas are usually managed by ‘homeowners association’ which consists of all the members, generally through a board of directors which are elected by the members themselves.
A similar concept exists under different names, this depends on jurisdiction, such as ‘unit title’, ‘sectional title’, ‘commohold’, ‘strata council’, or ‘tenant-owner’s association’, ‘body corporate’ or ‘condominium association’. There is yet still another variation of this concept known as the ‘time share’.
‘Declaration of Condominium’ is a commonly called document establishing rules for condominium government or management. Both owners and occupiers are subjected to rules in this declaration document or created by the condominium association such as payment of a monthly fee for maintaining the property’s common areas.
Condos are commonly owned in ‘fee simple title’, however they can be owned in ways that other real estate can be owned, for instance as a title held in ‘trust’. Owners will then typically rent their condos to other people to occupy as tenants, which is similar to renting out other real estate.
Non-residential condos also use condominium ownership but less frequently. It is used for non-residential land uses like offices, hotel rooms, retail shops, and even group housing facilities like retirement homes. It is clear that the legal structure is the same, many of the benefits are also similar, but do be warned the frequent turnover of commercial land uses in particular can make condominium arrangements problematic.
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