Getting condo information - rules and documents

By
Real Estate Agent with Coastal Properties Group International

Knowing condo rules and restrictions is so important! Why even look at a property, much less make an offer, if you know you and the rules aren't compatible? Perhaps you have pets - why look at a condo that doesn't allow them? Perhaps you're in your 30s - why even look at a condo where the residents need to be 55 or older to live there?

Whether you're taking a listing on a condo and want to provide complete information to prospective buyers and agents, or whether you're representing a buyer and tracking down information that wasn't provided by the listing agent, you do need access to that information.

(yes, our contracts do require the owner to furnish these to the buyer who then has 3 days to review them, with the option of terminating the contract - but often a buyer wants to know certain things before he writes an offer and a check)

Some associations make it SO difficult! Some send you to a third party company that provides online documents for $$$ per page. Others won't give out information to a real estate agent.

Some associations make it SO easy! They're the ones that believe in transparency (which is great for current owners and is also great for prospective buyers, who can qualify themselves on whether they'll fit in to the community). One of the best local transparent associations is for the Huntington townhomes, who make them available on line: you can find the rules, the documents, minutes of meetings - it's a treasure trove!

Perhaps you'd be doing your local associations a favor by suggesting this to them, as a means of giving out information and saving money and time in the process. One condo president that I spoke to recently had no idea that this was possible, so is looking into it for his association.

Do be part of the solution ... 

Posted by

Sharon Simms
CIPS CRS CLHMS CRB RSPS
Coastal Properties Group
CHRISTIE'S International Real Estate
238 Beach Drive NE
St Petersburg, FL 33701
www.ssimms.com    www.coastalpgi.com   www.christiesrealestate.com
(727) 898-2582    Sharon@SimmsTeam.com

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the tree to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Groups:
Condos, What you need to know?
Tags:
condo associations
condo rules
condo transparency

Comments 10 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the balloons to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
908,191
Bill Gassett
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
RE/MAX Executive Realty
I know what you mean - some are really great about getting information and other it's like pulling teeth - AARRG! When the information is online it is fantastic.
March 22, 2008 04:58 PM
Ambassador
883,719
Margaret Woda
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114
Online - that would just be too easy and too logical, and it would eliminate a profit center for the Association...
March 22, 2008 05:06 PM
Rainmaker
605,639
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International

Bill - do you think it would help if we gave awards for Exemplary Service?

Margaret - generally it's not a profit center, it usually means a trip across town to the association and having a staff person spend more time looking for something and copying it, after a few phone calls, than what the locals would charge. I think when they sub it out to a third party, it's the third party that makes the money, in exchange for relieving the association of the hassle. 

March 22, 2008 06:41 PM
Rainer
13,001
Barry Smith
Excellent Service Realty

The Florida law on condo docs: 

Section 718.503(2) (a), Florida Statues, provides “… each prospective purchaser who has entered into a contract for the purchase of a condominium unit is entitled, at the seller’s expense, to a current copy of declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation of the association, bylaws and rules of the association, financial information required by section (s.) 718.111, and the documents titled “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” required by s. 718.504.”

While condo sellers must provide buyers a copy of the condo’s association documentation for free, the condo association is allowed to charge for other documents the buyer’s lender may require. Section 718.111(12)(e), Florida Statutes states “the association ... may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney’s fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.”

 

Management companies and the condo owners need to be informed of the law because most don't know it. If they don't believe you, you can show them the law in print. 

 

March 25, 2008 11:52 AM
Rainer
16,133
Nancy Yengo
Nancy
Nancy L. Yengo Realty LLC
Sharon, you are absolutely right.  Just as important is we need to have the insight to ask/investigate planned HOA special Assessment changes.  Association planners have become insensitive to current and future owners inregards to retention and sales and in doing so have potentionally created negative market trends in some communities.
March 26, 2008 06:18 PM
Rainmaker
605,639
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International

Barry - that's true, but it's nice to have that information BEFORE someone writes an offer on a property.

Steve - Yes. HOAs don't have the same disclosure requirements as a condo association, so we need to look out for our buyers. 

April 01, 2008 08:09 PM
Rainer
13,329
Andrew Kyle
Calgary Condo Realtor
Royal LePage Foothills

For persepective and comparison, some of you might be interested in knowing the law regarding condo docs here in Alberta, Canada.  Section 44 of the Condominium Property Act of Alberta (2000) states that the following documents must be provided (for resale condos) to owners, purchasers, mortgagees, or their agents therof, within 10 tens of receiving a request:

- a copy of the registered condominium plan

- a copy of the bylaws of the corporation

- a copy of the most recent financial statements, if any, of the corporation

- a copy of the budget of the corporation

- a statement setting out the amount of the monthly contributions and the basis on which that amount was determined

- a copy of any minutes of proceedings of a general meeting of the corporation or of the board for the past 12 months

- a copy of the insurance certificate

- a copy of any lease agreement or exclusive use agreement with respect to the possession of a portion of the common property, including a parking stall or storage unit

- the particulars of, or a copy of, any subsisting management agreement

- the particulars of, or a copy of, any subsisting recreational agreement

- a statement setting out structural deficiencies that the corporation has knowledge of at the time of the request in any of the buildings that are included in the condominium plan

- a statement setting out the amount of the capital replacement reserve fund

- a copy of the most recent reserve fund report

- a copy of the most recent reserve fund plan

- the particulars of any post tensioned cables located anywhere on or within the Property

- a statement setting out the amount of any contributions due and payable in respect of a unit

- the particulars of any action commenced against the corporation and served on the corporation

- the particulars of any unsatisfied judgment or order for which the corporation is liable

- the particulars of any written demand made on the corporation for an amount in excess of $5,000 that, if not met, may result in an action being brought against the corporation

Condo corporations and management companies are allowed to charge for the documents, and costs for a full set can range between $150 to $400 or more depending on the management company and the urgency in fullfilling the request.

My pet peeve is listing Realtors who do not arrange for the documents immediately upon listing and thus do not have a full set when an offer comes in.  It means a mad scramble for the missing docs and usually an extension of the Condo Document Review Condition - resulting in a greater period of uncertainty for buyers, sellers and their Realtors.

And here is a prime example of the importance of going over the condo docs with your buyer clients... 2 months ago I was representing a young couple as buyers.  The listing mentioned nothing of an age restriction on the condo, but the condo bylaws did, an 18+ restriction. It was only after going over the highlights of the bylaws with my clients that they revealed to me that she was expecting a baby - they didn't tell me because they had not told their families yet and didn't want anyone to know at that point. Wow, what a disaster that would have been if we hadn't done that condo document review exercise!

- Andrew Kyle

Subscribe to my blog: http://activerain.com/action/blogs_admin/subscribe?subscribed_agent_id=59265

 

June 14, 2008 10:29 AM
Rainmaker
605,639
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International

Andrew - wow, what an extensive list. Lenders now are requiring information on how many units are owner occupied and also how many units are behind in their association dues.

June 18, 2008 09:59 PM
Rainer
13,329
Andrew Kyle
Calgary Condo Realtor
Royal LePage Foothills

Sharon,

How many units are behind in their dues is an interesting one - we don't have that now in Alberta. I like it.

The number of units being rented out is a requirement here in Alberta too, but it is not on that list which I copied from our Condo Act - I'll have to find out why.

- Andrew

June 21, 2008 11:53 AM
Rainmaker
605,639
Sharon Simms
St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Coastal Properties Group International

Andrew - the number of units behind on dues is new for us, too. That could lead to significant assessments for the remaining owners.

June 21, 2008 03:16 PM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the camera to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
605,639

Sharon Simms

St. Pete FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the clock to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information