Creation Of Condominium

The essential elements for creating a condominium include:

  • a property expressly submitted by a developer for creating a condominium ownership;
  • an instrument containing a declaration as to the creation of a condominium that is executed according to Condominium Act[i];and
  • the bylaws that govern the legal rights of a basic unit owner and condominium association[ii].

A declaration is an instrument by which a property is submitted for creating a condominium.  The declaration is the operative part of a condominium.  The declaration must be filed with the Judge of probate along with a duplicate copy.  The duplicate copy will be returned to the person filing a declaration.  A book called Condominium Book is maintained by the Judge of probate for each condominium.  A condominium book contains declaration of condominium, drawings, certificate of completion, amendments and certificate of termination.

The provisions of a declaration that is contained in an instrument of condominium must conform to the condominium statutes.  If a condominium instrument comes into conflict with the statute, then the statute will prevail over the condominium instrument.

The affairs of a condominium’s basic unit owner are governed by the condominium bylaws.  The use of common facilities by the basic unit owner’s in a condominium is governed by these bylaws[iii].  The bylaws gives authority to the condominium’s governing body to amend a declaration.  A condominium bylaw corresponds to a form of private law making in which individual owners join together and enters into an agreement by subordinating their traditional individual ownership rights and privileges[iv].  However, a condominium bylaw is governed by strict rules of interpretation[v].

[i] Royal York Owners Corp. v. Royal York Assocs., L.P., 2005 NY Slip Op 50889U, 1 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2005)

[ii]Lacy v. Sutton Place Condo. Ass’n, 684 A.2d 390 (D.C. 1996)

[iii] Murphy v. State, 14 A.D.3d 127 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2004)

[iv] Johnson v. Fairfax Village Condominium IV Unit Owners Ass’n, 548 A.2d 87 (D.C. 1988)

[v] Garfink v. Cloisters at Charles, Inc., 392 Md. 374 (Md. 2006)


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