If you own a single-family home, you usually have the freedom to do whatever you want with the property, whenever you want. If you own a condo, it’s not quite that simple. As the owner of a condo, you have to take condo association rules into account. And as a property manager who owns one or more condos within a community, it’s important to understand the rules of your condo association, as well as your rights as a condo owner.
What is a Condo Association?
Much like other types of homeowner’s associations (HOAs), a condo association is a governing body, usually made up of a board of elected condo owners within the community. The condo association determines how the community is managed, and what actions can and cannot be taken by individual owners.
Individual condo owners who live within the community are required to follow the rules set out by the condo association. Property managers, as owners within the community, must abide by these rules as well, although the situation can be more complex if you are a property manager whose condo is occupied by tenants. Owners and tenants will have to cooperate to ensure that they are both in compliance with the condo association rules.
What Are Condo Association Rules?
Community association rules vary depending on the community. They typically pertain to actions like making repairs, improvements or additions, though they may also be more wide-ranging, and include anything from parking regulations to maintenance and upkeep of individual properties.
In any case, as the owner of a condo, you should be supplied with a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, which includes all the bylaws, guidelines, and legal documents spelling out the rules and regulations in the community. Condo associations typically have the right to:
- Create and enforce rules regarding maintenance of shared common areas
- Create and enforce a noise policy
- Impose a fine for violations of the bylaws
- Enforce rules, regulations and payments with a lien, and foreclose a lien for repayment of fines
- Solicit payment for fees, rent or late charges, including contacting unit owners to seek payment
- Enter a unit for maintenance work during reasonable hours
- Amend bylaws to provide additional rights, solutions or protections
What Rights Do Condo Owners Have?
The owners of a condo also have rights, and you need to know yours. This is equally true if you live in the condo you own, or manage condos as rental properties. Condo owners have the right to:
- Hold exclusive ownership of their condo or unit
- Rent or lease their individual unit(s) unless otherwise stated in the community bylaws
- Install satellite dishes, antennas or solar panels (though there may be restrictions on where you can install them)
- Be elected to the condo association board
- Vote on or protest any bylaw changes as a member of the condo association
- Be notified of any action taken as a result of bylaws changing
- Be notified of any disciplinary action as a result of violating bylaws
Have more questions about condo association rules and condo owner’s rights? Contact us today to learn more about owning a condo as a property owner. Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996.