When you buy a condominium, you not only acquire a physical living space but also become a member of a condo association governed by a set of rules and regulations known as the condo declaration. Understanding your declaration of condominium is crucial, as it outlines your rights and responsibilities as a condo owner. In this article, we will unveil the significance of the condo declaration and help you know your rights within your condo community.
Your condo declaration defines your ownership rights. It specifies your ownership interest in your unit and, in many cases, common areas of the property. Understanding the extent of your ownership rights is essential, as it affects what you can and cannot do with your unit.
Voting and decision-making:
The declaration outlines how decisions are made within the condo association. It explains your right to vote on important matters such as budget approval, special assessments, and the election of board members. Knowing your voting rights ensures you have a say in the management of your community.
Use of common areas:
Common areas, such as hallways, lobbies, and recreational facilities, are typically owned collectively by condo owners. The declaration spells out how these spaces can be used, maintained, and accessed. It’s important to know your rights regarding the use of these shared amenities.
Maintenance and repairs:
The declaration often delineates the responsibilities for maintenance and repairs. Understanding these provisions helps you know what you are responsible for maintaining within your unit and what falls under the jurisdiction of the condo association. This knowledge can be crucial when issues arise.
Alterations and renovations:
If you plan to make alterations or renovations to your unit, the declaration provides guidelines and restrictions. Knowing these regulations can prevent costly mistakes and ensure compliance with the association’s rules.
The declaration is a legally binding document. It outlines the legal framework for the condo association, including the process for amending the declaration. Understanding this framework ensures you can protect your rights and interests within the community.
In the unfortunate event of disputes within the condo community, the declaration may provide a dispute resolution mechanism. Knowing these procedures can be helpful if you find yourself in a disagreement with the association or fellow condo owners.