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Condominium Law

Condominium Law

Condominiums and co-operatives (co-ops) are “common interest” properties that offer ownership interests that are different from those associated with traditional home ownership. “Co-ops” are very similar to condominiums or apartments. Most condominiums are owned by corporations or a single landlord, but co-ops are owned by the residents. The residents, therefore, have more say in how the property is managed and the rules by which residents must abide. This section provides practical and legal information on condominiums and co-ops, including the types of co-op arrangements that exist and how to buy or sell an interest in a co-op. If you have more questions after reading this information, be sure to call one of the Utah real estate lawyers for assistance.

Utah Condominium Law

Condominiums (or simply “condos”) are individually owned, just like houses and mobile homes, but are part of a larger community with shared interests and amenities. The individually owned units typically are sections of a single building or otherwise closely grouped together, but the exterior (outside walls, roof, etc.) are maintained by a homeowners’ association (HOA). The HOA is responsible for shared areas, such as courtyards, landscaping, paved roads, mailboxes, and recreation facilities. Homeowners pay monthly dues to cover these costs. Some condominiums are actually converted apartments or townhouses (and vice-versa), the key difference being the fact that ownership is limited to the interior of each unit.

How Condominium Law Works

Co-ops often resemble apartments and townhouses but have a different ownership scheme. The main difference is that “owners” do not actually own their unit, but rather holds shares in the corporation that owns the development. The amount of shares purchased is based on the size of the unit, and they are paid for with a loan (not a traditional mortgage). However, this loan is very similar to a mortgage. Residents are referred to as “shareholders” and also pay a monthly maintenance fee to pay for property upkeep, maintenance, and property taxes (similar to HOA dues).
As with most rental properties, co-op shareholders generally cannot make improvements, additions, or other major changes to the unit since they are not owners of the individual unit. However, co-opt usually have on-site maintenance staff for repairs and maintenance.

The main alternatives to purchasing a condo or buying shares in a co-op are to rent an apartment or buy a standalone home. There’s no one option that works for everyone, but condos and co-ops do have certain advantages that may appeal to some, including (1) Affordability – Condos and co-ops ease the burden of maintaining one’s home, compared to the ongoing and often-unexpected costs of owning a house; and (2) Stability – Unlike a rental unit, owning a condo or shares in a co-op provides more stability because people are less likely to move and more likely to take care of their home
But a condo or co-op may not be for everyone. The disadvantages of condos and co-ops include (1) Ongoing Costs – In addition to the monthly mortgage or loan payment, condo and co-op owners must also pay either HOA fees or a monthly maintenance fee; and (2) Restrictions – Most condos restrict what you can and cannot do to the outside portion of your unit, while co-ops are even more restrictive (including the interior)

Condominium Lawyer Free Consultation

When you have a condo law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.