Condominium living offers a unique blend of shared community and individual ownership. At the heart of every condominium community are its bylaws and declarations, which serve as the governing documents that outline the rules, regulations, and operational framework for the property. Here, we will provide a detailed overview of what condominium bylaws and declarations are, their significance, and how they shape the condo living experience.
Condominium declarations: The foundation of ownership
Condominium declarations, often referred to as the “declaration of condominium,” are legal documents that establish the existence of a condominium project. They define the boundaries of individual units, as well as the common elements and areas shared by all unit owners. Declarations are recorded with the appropriate government authority and are legally binding.
Within the condominium declarations, you will find essential information such as
Declarations clearly delineate the boundaries of each individual unit, including interior and exterior dimensions. This document specifies what parts of the building or property are owned exclusively by each unit owner.
The common elements are areas or features shared by all unit owners. These can include hallways, elevators, parking lots, swimming pools, and recreational facilities. The declarations specify the rights and responsibilities of unit owners concerning these common areas.
Declarations often contain restrictions on how units can be used. These restrictions may pertain to activities such as renting out units, conducting business from them, or making structural alterations.
Declarations outline how condo association fees (commonly referred to as assessments) are determined and what expenses they cover. Understanding these obligations is crucial for financial planning.
Condominium bylaws: Rules for governance
Condominium bylaws are complementary to declarations and serve as the internal rules and regulations for the condominium association. Bylaws cover the operational aspects of the community, including the functioning of the condo association’s board and committees.
Key components of condominium bylaws include
Board of directors
Bylaws outline the structure, roles, and responsibilities of the board of directors. This includes the election process, terms of service, and decision-making procedures.
Meetings and voting
Bylaws establish protocols for conducting association meetings, including notice requirements and quorum thresholds. They also specify voting procedures for various matters, such as adopting rules or approving budgets.
Bylaws provide the mechanisms for collecting assessments and addressing delinquent payments.