Knowing where the condominium owner's responsibilities end, where the association's responsibilities begin, and where a tenant plays a role in this equation is a fundamental concern for anyone who has ever owned, rented or considered purchasing a condo. With condo purchases on the rise in many of the growing urban centers in the U.S, such as Atlanta and Miami, it is valuable information for potential condo owners to learn where and how they should assess their responsibilities.
In the process of understanding the different elements that play a role in condo ownership and maintenance, it is vital that potential owners and renters consider the three fundamental components. Those are the common elements, the unit, and the limited common elements.
The unit, as defined by most declarations, refers to the portion of the condominium designated for personal ownership or rental. This may include and be limited to the interior of the space in which residents live, including interior walls, attics, finished flooring, etc. It may also include the paint, wallpaper or other decorative attributes that have been added to the unit.
The last category includes the limited common elements, which may vary from condo to condo. Here, you'll find that most condos include air conditioning and heating units as limited common elements, whereas mailboxes, doorsteps, patios and porches will vary depending on the governing documents within a condominium association.
Given this established set of guidelines, it should be simpler to understand where the responsibilities rely when it comes to condo upkeep and maintenance. For some condo tenants, the belief that anytime something goes wrong it should be the responsibility of the association to take care of it is a faulty assumption. Consider the boundaries between unit and common elements before jumping to any conclusions. The other important consideration to bear in mind is whether or not damage that's been caused to any part of the condo is due to the neglect or irresponsibility of the owner or renter. In most cases, associations will be the judges in the event of a discrepancy.
For the most part, condominium lifestyles have gained a lot of popularity in recent years because it takes some of the maintenance responsibility off the hands of the resident. Landscaping, pool maintenance, and other outdoor related upkeep generally becomes the responsibility of the association, allowing residents to focus exclusively on the interior of the space in which they reside. For people with active lifestyles and lower incomes, condo living often works in their favor. In many cases, this category of people is able to purchase and own their own property, while avoiding tedious and time-consuming upkeep that may interfere with their regular priorities. So long as a fair amount of attention is paid to the individual unit and all the corresponding components of that unit, tenants and condo owners alike will face few problems in the way of condominium maintenance on the whole.
Sam D Goddard writes for Construction Chemicals UK Ltd, who are experts in their field - from basement conversions for the serious renovator to DIY timber treatment products for protecting your home from insects and mold.