Legal Considerations for Condominium Ownership

Investing in a condominium can be a tricky proposition. The idea behind the condominium development is for the individual owners of the condo units to take advantage of sharing the mutual benefits as well as the shared burdens. However, there is often a developer involved and the developer is there to make a profit. Often times, the developer’s goal does not align with the priorities of the individual unit owners who are going to be residents of the community.

It’s important for the owners to understand that until a certain number of units are sold, the developer will retain control of the homeowners association. This means that the developer will decide who will be on the board of directors of the HOA. More importantly, through those board members, the developer will decide the amount that members will pay each month in dues and how that money will be spent. The developer will also have the opportunity and the right to change many aspects of the project; for example, adding or subtracting property including common elements such as the pool, fitness center and other amenities.

The developers can also change the number of units that will actually be part of the final condominium community. For these reasons, it is very important for each individual unit owner to carefully review the documents provided by the seller at the time of closing. These documents control how the HOA is going to be governed and operated and they also set forth exactly what interest each unit owner will have in the common elements and also what the common elements of the condominium regime will be.