Home Condominiums Everything To Know About Condominiums

Everything To Know About Condominiums

Everything To Know About Condominiums

A condominium in the United States is
referred to as a form of housing unit that is privately owned by the resident,
yet shares a common collective exterior with one or more separate units. Condo
owners have property rights contractually specified by the agreement between
themselves and the mortgage holder. The appeal of condominiums over
conventional home ownership or renting and apartments are numerous. Condo
owners enjoy the benefits of property investment and sale, as well as the
opportunity to live in more desirable areas without paying the full cost of a
house. In addition to these benefits, condo owners also assume the risks of
changes in the housing market, and an inability to terminate their residency as
easily as an apartment tenant. 




Condominiums are derived from French
collective property ownerships under the Napoleonic Code of 1804. This was a
drastic break from traditional English property ownership laws. English laws
stipulated that one must own land in order to be considered a property owner,
while the French laws allowed for individually, owned, and managed living spaces
within the same unit or building. The first condos in the United States were
built in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1960 by Keith Romney, the “Father of the
condominium”. By the end of the 1960’s, condominiums were readily
available for purchase in all fifty states of the union. Romney’s Graystone
Manor paved the way for a revolution in property ownership that would peak in
popularity during the 1990’s housing economy.


& Bylaws:


The Utah Condominium act of 1960 allowed
for private ownership of a residence in a collective unit. A year later in
1961, the National Housing Act allowed the federal government to insure the
mortgages of these private properties. The residents of a condominium
development are members of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA).  The duties of
the HOA most importantly include the creation, modification and enforcement of
regulations known as “bylaws”. Bylaws govern life at the condo and regulate
a wide variety of resident concerns, such as the unit’s pet policy, quiet time,
and allocation of membership dues. These dues paid by all HOA members are
responsible for the upkeep and renovation of the collective.


While the HOA’s elected board of directors has executive authority over the
collective unit of condominiums, it often must seek legal representation in
matters of discrepancy between itself and the individual unit owners.
Conversely, if the unit owners feel they are being unjustly represented or
charged in violation of the HOA’s bylaws they are entitled to the same legal
representation. Litigation between condominium mortgage holders and unit owners
may arise from simple matters of Collection of Dues, to more complex issues of
violation of Right of First Refusal (ROFR). Finally, both parties will seek
attorney in matters of liens and foreclosure when the HOA has sought
compensation or owner removal from the unit.  Due to the complexity and
logistics of these litigation processes, many real estate attorneys specialize
in representation for either party in condominium lawsuits.