Condo Tips

Condo Tips

Many condo owners receive a ton of condo docs and quickly forget about them or don’t review them carefully. Think of your association as a small town with elected officials whose role it is to maintain the infrastructure of the community and assess fees to residents in order to do so. 


When you bought your new home, your membership in the association is mandatory. You are required to pay association dues or maintenance fees. You are entitled to elect board members, attend meetings, and approve amendments to the association documents, such as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), Declaration, and Bylaws. 


You want to pay close attention to The House rules, which are part of the condo docs you receive prior to closing, as failure to do so could result in citations and fines. 


The CC&R and Declaration define what your unit boundaries are, limited common elements (such as parking spots), and common elements (such as driveways). This is important because if you do any work on a limited common or common element, you could be held responsible to restore it to its original condition. 


The bylaws address association management and operations such as procedures for meetings, elections, and establishes the number or board members, their terms of office, and their duties.


As for insurance, make sure you understand what the master policy covers. Most policies only cover restoration of your unit to an as built condition, and not any upgrades since the original build, such as flooring, cabinets, personal property, or liability. You may also be liable for the deductible, so make sure to consult your insurance agent.