Condominium
Overview
 
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure
Housing tenure
Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid to a landlord, and owner occupancy. Mixed forms of tenure are also possible....

 and other real property
Real property
In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it made by human efforts: any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth...

 where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment
Apartment
An apartment or flat is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building...

 house) is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership and controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece.

Colloquially, the term is often used to refer to the unit itself in place of the word "apartment".
Encyclopedia
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure
Housing tenure
Housing tenure refers to the financial arrangements under which someone has the right to live in a house or apartment. The most frequent forms are tenancy, in which rent is paid to a landlord, and owner occupancy. Mixed forms of tenure are also possible....

 and other real property
Real property
In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it made by human efforts: any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth...

 where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment
Apartment
An apartment or flat is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building...

 house) is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership and controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece.

Colloquially, the term is often used to refer to the unit itself in place of the word "apartment". A condominium may be simply defined as an "apartment" that the resident "owns" as opposed to rents.

Condominium is the legal term used in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and in most provinces of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and the Canadian province of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 it is referred to as strata title
Strata title
Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The 'strata' part of the term refers to apartments being on different levels, or "strata"....

. In Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 the term "divided co-property" is used, although the colloquial name remains 'condominium'. In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 the equivalent is called copropriété (co-ownership), usually managed by the syndic. In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 an "apartment" refers to a unit that is owned, while a rented unit is referred to as a "flat". In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, this form of ownership is called Sectional Title, with the owners constituting the Body Corporate
Legal personality
Legal personality is the characteristic of a non-human entity regarded by law to have the status of a person....

.

Overview

The difference between a condominium and an apartment complex is purely legal: there is no way to know a condominium from an apartment simply by looking at or visiting the building. What defines a condominium is the form of ownership. The same building developed as a condominium (and sold in individual units to different owners) could actually be built someplace else as an apartment building (the developers would retain ownership and rent individual units to different tenants). As a practical matter, though, builders tend to build condominiums to higher quality standards than apartment complexes because of the differences between the rental and sale markets.

Technically, a condominium is a collection of individual home units and common areas along with the land upon which they sit. Individual home ownership within a condominium is construed as ownership of only the air space confining the boundaries of the home (Anglo-Saxon law systems; different elsewhere). The boundaries of that space are specified by a legal document known as a Declaration, filed of record with the local governing authority. Typically these boundaries will include the drywall surrounding a room, allowing the homeowner to make some interior modifications without impacting the common area. Anything outside this boundary is held in an undivided ownership interest by a corporation established at the time of the condominium’s creation. The corporation holds this property in trust on behalf of the homeowners as a group–-it may not have ownership itself.

Condominiums have conditions, covenants, and restrictions, and often additional rules, that govern how the individual unit owners are to share the space.

It is also possible for a condominium to consist of single family dwellings: so-called "detached condominiums" where homeowners do not maintain the exteriors of the dwellings, yards, etc. or "site condominiums" where the owner has more control and possible ownership (as in a "whole lot" or "lot line" condominium) over the exterior appearance. These structures are preferred by some planned neighborhoods and gated communities
Gated community
In its modern form, a gated community is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly-controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. Gated communities usually consist of small residential...

.

A homeowners association
Homeowners association
A homeowner association is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision...

 (HOA), whose members are the unit owners, manages the condominium through a board of directors elected by the membership. The concept exists under various names depending on the jurisdiction, such as "unit title", "sectional title", "commonhold
Commonhold
Commonhold is a system of property ownership in England and Wales. It involves the indefinite freehold tenure of part of a multi-occupancy building with shared ownership of and responsibility for common areas and services. It has features of the strata title and the condominium systems, which...

," "strata council," or "tenant-owner's association", "body corporate", "Owners Corporation", "condominium corporation" or "condominium association." Another variation of this concept is the "time share" although not all time shares are condominiums, and not all time shares involve actual ownership of (i.e., deeded title to) real property. Condominiums may be found in both civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 and common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 legal systems as it is purely a creation of statute
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

. Among other things, the HOA assesses unit owners for the costs of maintaining the common areas, etc. That is, the HOA decides how much each owner should pay and has the legal power to collect that.
The description of the condominium units and the common areas and any restrictions on their use is established in a document commonly called a "Master Deed" (also known as the "Enabling Declaration", the "Declaration of Conditions", or the "Condominium Document"). Among other things, this document provides for the creation of the HOA. Rules of governance for the association are usually covered under a separate set of bylaws which generally govern the internal affairs of the condominium. Condominium bylaws usually establish the responsibilities of the owners' association; the voting procedures to be used at association meetings; the qualifications, powers, and duties of the board of directors; the powers and duties of the officers; and the obligations of the owners with regard to assessments, maintenance, and use of the units and common areas. Finally, a set of rules and regulations providing specific details of restrictions on conduct of unit owners and residents are established by the HOA. These are more readily amendable than the declaration or association bylaws, typically requiring only a vote of the HOA board. Typical rules include mandatory maintenance fees (perhaps collected monthly), pet restrictions, and color/design choices visible from the exterior of the units. Generally, these sets of rules and regulations are made available to residents and or as a matter of public record via a condominium or homeowners association website or through public files, depending on the state and its applicable laws. Condominiums are usually owned in fee simple
Fee simple
In English law, a fee simple is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is the most common way that real estate is owned in common law countries, and is ordinarily the most complete ownership interest that can be had in real property short of allodial title, which is often reserved...

 title
Title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

, but can be owned in ways that other real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 can be owned, such as title held in trust
Trust law
In common law legal systems, a trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another...

. In some jurisdictions, such as Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada or Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 USA, there are "leasehold condominiums" where the development is built on leased land.

In general, condominium unit owners can rent
Renting
Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a good, service or property owned by another. A gross lease is when the tenant pays a flat rental amount and the landlord pays for all property charges regularly incurred by the ownership from landowners...

 their home to tenant
Leasehold estate
A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord....

s, similar to renting out other real estate, although leasing rights may be subject to conditions or restrictions set forth in the declaration (such as a rental cap for the total number of units in a community that can be leased at one time) or otherwise as permitted by local law.

Non-residential uses

Condominium ownership is also used, albeit less frequently, for non-residential land uses: offices, hotel rooms, retail shops, group housing facilities (retirement homes or dormitories), and storage. The legal structure is the same, and many of the benefits are similar; for instance, a nonprofit corporation may face a lower tax liability in an office condominium than in an office rented from a taxable, for-profit company. However, the frequent turnover of commercial land uses in particular can make the inflexibility of condominium arrangements problematic.

Similar Concepts

There are many forms of real estate ownership that are similar to condominiums but not identical.

Classic privately owned detached houses on privately owned lots may be part of a community that has a homeowner's association. Such an association may administer a common park area, for example, or an access road, or architectural standards for the houses.

In a townhouse complex, multiple physical houses are combined into a single architectural building. Each unit owner owns an identified plot of land and the building affixed to it, but that building is physically part of a larger building that spans lots. There is a continuous roof and foundation and a single wall divides adjacent townhouses. Legally, this is very similar to detached houses, but because of the intertwining of interests in the single architectural building, a homeowner's association is required. It would be impractical, for example to replace the roof of just one townhouse. But unlike the condominium, the townhouse complex's HOA owns none of the building or the land under it. It is essentially under contract to the townhouse owners to maintain the parts of the building that are hard to divide. Even the walls between townhouses are usually outside the purview of the HOA, being jointly owned and maintained by the owners of the townhouses on either side. Like the condominium, the townhouse complex often has common areas for roads, parking, clubhouses, and such.

A rowhouse is like a townhouse except that the houses are not physically connected. They are independent structures that simply have no space between them. Technically, they are detached.

A building with multiple residential units may simply be owned in common by multiple people, with each having specific rights to a particular unit and undivided interest in the rest. This is like a condominium, but there is no HOA with legal powers. It is much harder to govern, as the individual unit owners often have to agree unanimously or court intervention is required.

California statutes recognize three kinds of "common interest developments": condominium, townhouse, and community apartment, with the latter being the owned-in-common concept described above.

Australia

In Australia, condominiums are known as "community title schemes
Strata title
Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The 'strata' part of the term refers to apartments being on different levels, or "strata"....

".

Canada

Condominiums exist in most parts of Canada though more common in larger cities. They are regulated under provincial or territorial legislation and specific legal details vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most parts of Canada, they are referred to as Condominiums, except in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 where they are referred to as a strata and in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 where they are referred to as syndicates of co-ownership. A townhouse complex called Brentwood Village in Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

, Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 was the first condominium development in Canada (registered in 1967; the first high-rise condominium development was Horizon House built by Minto in Nepean, Ontario
Nepean, Ontario
- Recent quantity of snow :- History :Nepean Township, originally known as Township D, was established in 1792 and originally included what is now the central area of Ottawa west of the Rideau River. Jehiel Collins, from Vermont, is believed to have been the first person to settle in Nepean...

 and registered in 1967.

With regular condominiums, the unit owner usually owns the internal unit space and a share of the corporation; the corporation owns the exterior of the building land and common area; in the case of a freehold condominium the owner owns the land and building and the corporation owns common shared roadways and amenities. The Canadian Condominium Institute is a non-profit association of condominium owners and corporations with chapters in each province and territory.

Ontario

In Ontario, condominiums are governed by the Condominium Act, 1998 with each development establishing a corporation to deal with day-to-day functions (maintenance, repairs, etc.). A board of directors is elected by the owners of units (or, in the case of a common elements condominium corporation, the owners of the common interest in the common elements) in the development on at least a yearly basis. A general meeting is held annually to deal with board elections and the appointment of an auditor (or waiving of audit). Other matters can also be dealt with at the Annual General Meeting, but special meetings of the owners can be called by the board and, in some cases, by the owners themselves, at any time.

In recent years, the condominium industry has been booming in Canada, with dozens of new towers being erected each year. Toronto is the centre of this boom, with 17,000 new units being sold in 2005, more than double second place Miami's 7,500 units.http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1148507412275&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&t=TS_Home Outside of Toronto, the most common forms of condominium have been townhomes rather than highrises, although that trend may be altered as limitations are placed on "Greenfields" (see Greenfield land
Greenfield land
Greenfield land is a term used to describe undeveloped land in a city or rural area either used for agriculture, landscape design, or left to naturally evolve...

) developments in those areas (in turn, forcing developers to expand upward rather than outward and to consider more condominium conversions instead of new housing). Particular growth areas are in Kitchener/Waterloo, Barrie, and London. In fact, after Toronto, the Golden Horseshoe Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute is one of that organization's most thriving chapters.http://www.ghccci.org/

The Ontario Condominium Act, 1998 provides an effectively wide range of development options, including Standard, Phased, Vacant Land, Common Element and Leasehold condominiums. Certain existing condominiums can amalgamate, and existing properties can be converted to condominium (provided municipal requirements for the same are met). Accordingly, the expanded and expanding use of the condominium concept is permitting developers and municipalities to consider newer and more interesting forms of development to meet social needs.

On this issue, Ontario condominium lawyer Michael Clifton writes, "Condominium development has steadily increased in Ontario for several years. While condominiums typically represent attractive lifestyle and home-ownership alternatives for buyers, they also, importantly, introduce a new approach to community planning for home builders and municipal approval authorities in Ontario. …[There are] opportunities for developers to be both creative and profitable in building, and municipalities more flexible and imaginative in planning and approving, developments that will become sustainable communities."

Contrary to other jurisdictions such as Alberta, Ontario does not provide flexibility for small condo corporations to conduct their own reserve fund study, or to update it less frequently than required for large corporations. Managers of small condominium corporations have asked the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services to review this requirement as it becomes burdensome for the management of smaller buildings, by contacting: http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/Pages/AskAQuestion.aspx

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, condominiums are registered as a special type of non-profit corporation that is owned by the unit owners; the owners elect a board of directors; the operation of the corporation is governed by The Condominium Property Act.

Denmark

Apartments (Danish ejerlejlighed, literally "owner-apartment") comprise some 5% of Danish homes.
They are traded and mortgaged on the same markets as free-standing houses, and are treated legally much like other forms of real estate. Each owner-tenant directly owns his own apartment; the rest of the building and the ground on which it stands is owned jointly by the apartment owners who execute their joint ownership through an owner's association. The expenses of maintaining the joint property is shared pro rata among the owners.

Another 5% of Danish homes are in housing cooperative
Housing cooperative
A housing cooperative is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. ...

s (Danish andelsbolig), which occupy a legal position intermediate between condominiums and housing association
Housing association
Housing associations in the United Kingdom are independent not-for-profit bodies that provide low-cost "social housing" for people in housing need. Any trading surplus is used to maintain existing homes and to help finance new ones...

s. The entire property is legally owned by a non-profit corporation in which the tenants own shares; each share carries the right and duty to lease an apartment from the cooperative. Shares can be bought and sold, but often the cooperative's rules strictly limit the price for which they may change hand. (In contrast, condominiums are traded on a free market). Because the official share prices are often lower than the market value and sellers often retain freedom to select whom to sell to, under-the-table payments are common.

Current public policy favors condominiums over housing cooperatives, and recent legislation have aimed ad making the latter more condominium-like. For example, since 2005, cooperative shares may be used to secure bank loans. (However, Danish mortgage banks
Danish mortgage market
The mortgage industry of Denmark has proved very effective in providing borrowers with flexible and transparent loans on conditions close to the funding conditions of capital market players. Simultaneously, the covered mortgage bonds transfer market risk from the issuing mortgage bank to bond...

 still may not mortgage individual housing cooperative apartments).

England and Wales

In England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, the equivalent of condominium is commonhold
Commonhold
Commonhold is a system of property ownership in England and Wales. It involves the indefinite freehold tenure of part of a multi-occupancy building with shared ownership of and responsibility for common areas and services. It has features of the strata title and the condominium systems, which...

, a form of ownership introduced in September 2004. As of 3 June 2009, there were 12 commonhold residential developments comprising 97 units in England and one commonhold residential development, comprising 30 units, in Wales.

Hungary

Condominiums (Hungarian:társasházi öröklakás) were formally introduced in 1924. Condominiums are traded and mortgaged on the same markets as free standing houses, and treated much like other forms of real estates.

India

Condominiums are more commonly known as "flats" in India, also referred as apartments sometimes. This type of housing is very common in larger cities like Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 (Bombay), Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

 (Madras), Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

 (Calcutta), Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Hyderabad, but are not commonly found in rural areas.

In India, in some of the States they are registered as "co-operative housing society" rather than condominiums in that the owners actually have a share of the co-op and not the actual real estate itself. In such cases, the Owners can sell the "share" in the open market, but they must receive approval from the co-op to complete the transaction. Formation of a Co op Society is not essential for a Condominium. There is no bar for construction of Condominium by private parties. As a matter of fact, apart from a Housing Board under the Government, there is no restriction in making condominium other than some building regulations. Many of the Apartment Ownership Acts apply only to property, the sole owner or all of the owners which submit the same to the provisions of the Acts by duly executing and registering a declaration by which property is to be submitted to the provisions of the Act.

(a) for instance as per Sec.5 (2) of the Kerala Act (Act 5 of 1984) each apartment owner has to execute a declaration that he submits his apartment to the provisions of this Act. The contents of the declaration is specified in Sec.11 of the said Act. The contents of the deeds of apartment is also specified in Sec.12 of the said Act.

Norway

Condominiums (Norwegian Eierseksjon) was formally introduced in 1983. Some 19% of Norwegian homes are condominiums, as approximately 50% of the owner-occupied flats and duplexes, approximately 30% of the rowhouses and 2.5% of the detached houses are organised as condominiums.

Singapore

In Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, "Condo" or "Condominium" are terms used for housing buildings with some special luxury features like security guards, swimming pools or tennis courts.

Most housings without such features are built by the governmental Housing Development Board (HDB), and such HDB units can be possessed for rent or individually bought from the government. Condominiums and HDB flats make up the overwhelming majority of available residential housing in the country.

Sweden

On 1 May 2009, condominiums (ägarlägenheter) became available for the first time under Swedish law. Of the 14,447 newly built apartments completed in 2009, only six were condominiums. A majority of production, 7,723 units, were apartments in housing cooperatives
Housing cooperative
A housing cooperative is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. ...

 (bostadsrättslägenheter), the traditional form of owner occupied apartment housing.

United States

The first condominium law passed in the United States was in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1958. English Common law tradition holds that real property ownership must involve land, whereas the French civil law tradition recognized condominium ownership as early as the 1804 Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

; thus, it is notable that condominiums evolved in the United States via a Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 government with a hybrid common-civil legal system. In 1960, the first condominium in the Continental United States was built in Salt Lake City, Utah. Initially designed as a housing cooperative
Housing cooperative
A housing cooperative is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. ...

 (Co-op), the Utah Condominium Act of 1960 made it possible for "Graystone Manor" (2730 S 1200 East) to be built as a condominium. The legal counsel for the project, Keith B. Romney is also credited with authoring the Utah Condominium act of 1960. Romney also played an advisory role in the creation of condominium legislation with every other legislature in the U.S. BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

hailed Romney as the "Father of Condominiums". He soon after formed a partnership with Don W. Pihl called "Keith Romney Associates", which was widely recognized throughout the 1970s as America's preeminent condominium consulting firm.

Although often mistakenly credited with coining the term "condominium", Romney has always been quick to point out that it harks back to Roman times, and that he merely borrowed it.

Nowadays, the leadership of the industry is dominated by Community Associations Institute
Community Associations Institute
The Community Associations Institute is an influential trade association and special interest group, dominated by lawyers and property managers, that petitions for legislative beneficence for its members....

 or CAI.

Section 234 of the 1961 National Housing Act
National Housing Act
National Housing Act may refer to:* National Housing Act of 1938, the first significant federal housing legislation adopted in Canada* National Housing Act of 1934, the first significant federal housing legislation enacted in the United States...

 allowed the Federal Housing Administration
Federal Housing Administration
The Federal Housing Administration is a United States government agency created as part of the National Housing Act of 1934. It insured loans made by banks and other private lenders for home building and home buying...

 to insure mortgages on condominiums, leading to a vast increase in the funds available for condominiums, and to condominium laws in every state by 1969. Many Americans' first widespread awareness of condominium life came not from its largest cities but from south Florida, where developers had imported the condominium concept from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and used it to sell thousands of inexpensive homes to retirees arriving flush with cash from the urban Northern U.S.

The primary attraction to this type of ownership is the ability to obtain affordable housing in a highly desirable area that typically is beyond economic reach. Additionally, such properties benefit from having restrictions that maintain and enhance value, providing control over blight that plagues some neighborhoods. Major American cities, including Miami, San Francisco, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, and Washington D.C., have abundant condominium development.

In recent years, the residential condominium industry has been booming in all of the major metropolitan areas such as Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, and New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. It is now in a slowdown phase. According to Richard Swerdlow, CEO of Condo.com, "You're not going to see this giant overbuild again. It's hard to imagine that you'd see in the next decade what we just saw. Real estate brokers and the developers were in almost a ticket-collecting mode. They were processing orders because there was so much business to go around. Now that sort of investor phenomenon has gone away." He added, "That phenomenon has stopped."

An alternative form of ownership, popular in the United States but found also in other common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 jurisdictions, is the "cooperative" corporation, also known as "company share" or "co-op", in which the building has an associated legal company
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 and ownership of shares gives the right to a lease
Lease
A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee to pay the lessor for use of an asset. A rental agreement is a lease in which the asset is tangible property...

 for residence of a unit. Another form is leasehold or ground rent
Ground rent
Ground rent, sometimes known as a rentcharge, is a regular payment required under a lease from the owner of leasehold property, payable to the freeholder. A ground rent is created when a freehold piece of land or a building is sold on a long lease...

 in which a single landlord retains ownership of the land on which the building is constructed in which the lease renews in perpetuity or over a very long term such as in a civil law emphyteutic lease
Emphyteutic lease
An Emphyteutic lease is a type of real estate contract specifying that the lessee must improve the property with construction. The term is commonly used in Quebec. These sorts of leases are usually associated with government properties.-External links:*...

. Another form of civil law joint property ownership is undivided co-ownership where the owners own a percentage of the entire property but have exclusive possession of a specific part of the property and joint possession of other parts of the property; distinguished from joint tenancy with right of survivorship or a tenancy in common of common law.

In the United States, there are several different styles of Condominium complexes.

Garden Condominium complex consists of low-rise buildings built with landscaped grounds surrounding them. Townhouse Condominium complex consists of multi-floor semi-detached homes. In condominium townhouses, the purchaser owns only the interior, while the building itself is owned by a condominium corporation. The corporation is jointly owned by all the owners, and charges them fees for general maintenance and major repairs.
Freehold townhouses are exclusively owned, without any condominium aspects. In the United States this type of ownership called fee simple.

See also

  • Car condo
    Car condo
    Like a traditional condominium, a car condo is real estate where the owner owns or leases the unit where the car is stored. The common areas of the car condo building are jointly owned by all the tenants and the car condo owner pays a monthly maintenance fee for their use.Many Car Condos are...

  • Condo conversion
    Condo Conversion
    In real estate, a condominium conversion or condo conversion is the process of entitling an income property or other lands currently held under one title to convert from sole ownership of the entire property into individually sold units as condominiums...

  • Condop
    Condop
    A condop in real estate is a term for a residential establishment that includes both a condominium and cooperative ownership structure...

  • Dockominium
    Dockominium
    A dockominium is the water-based version of a condominium; rather than owning an apartment in a building, one owns a boat slip on the water. The term is a portmanteau of "dock" and "condominium." In addition to the exclusive right to use the boat slip, ownership also provides one with the right to...

    , a water-based version
  • Housing cooperative
    Housing cooperative
    A housing cooperative is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. ...

  • Canadian Condominium Institute
    Canadian Condominium Institute
    The Canadian Condominium Institute is an independent, non-profit organization formed in 1982 to represent all facets of the condominium/strata community...

  • Community Associations Institute
    Community Associations Institute
    The Community Associations Institute is an influential trade association and special interest group, dominated by lawyers and property managers, that petitions for legislative beneficence for its members....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK