Avoid Hidden Surprises When Purchasing a Condominium

So you’re buying a condominium and the seller provides you with all of the required documentation – among them the declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws and rules. Now what?  Do you just keep these items in a safe place in case they are ever needed?  The answer to this should be no. As the buyer of a condominium, it is very important that you make sure to review all of the documentation provided to you regarding the condominium in which you are purchasing.

Your condominium documents will explain what parts of the condominium you are responsible for, what the association is responsible for, your voting rights and how rules are promulgated or changed. They will also include important information about restrictions such as rental restrictions, parking restrictions or restrictions on improvements that you can make to the condominium.

It is important to be aware that condominium documents are not all the same and you should be familiar with the specific rules and restrictions related to yours to avoid potentially costly issues in the future. For example, a new condominium owner decides to renovate their kitchen.  They hire a licensed contractor and pull all appropriate permits. The homeowner spends their savings building the kitchen of their dreams. During the process, the condominium owner receives a letter notifying them that they did not abide by the appropriate approval process required by the condominium bylaws to approve their new kitchen and they are subject to expensive fines as well as having to immediately undo all of their renovations at their own expense.

A situation like this can be avoided by a thorough review and understanding of all elements of your condominium documents. Whether you are just purchasing a condominium or you have already purchased one but have not thoroughly reviewed the documents, we encourage you to do so to familiarize yourself and avoid running into potentially costly issues or disputes in the future.  If you need assistance reviewing or understanding your condominium documents, please contact your local real estate attorney.


Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

Article Authored by Jessica Stewart, Esq. jstewart@berlinpatten.com

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. 



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