The sale of a property is going very smooth. The offer has been drafted and after a counter offer, it has been accepted. There was an inspection, and they found a few items that need repairs, but both, buyer and sellers agreed to share the costs. The mortgage process is also going through, and the buyer is getting all documents prepared for the underwriter. After all negotiations, the final step is a meeting with the condominium association. Closing is expected within days. What could go wrong? Everything. Condominiums must approve a new owner prior to the sale of a property within the association. They cannot deny randomly, they cannot discriminate. However, they can deny a new owner based on their rules, and if they see that the buyer does not intend to abide by these rules. Do you have a dog? Are you refraining from telling the truth in the application? Do you have fewer relatives than the ones you are listing? The seller didn’t disclose about an assessment? If the association does not allow pets, it doesn’t matter that you will never bring Rosie to your vacation home. If there is some criminal history, even if it is just a car accident, they want to know. And if the condominium does not allow rental, it doesn’t help to make your family really large, so you can bring them later. They know it is not your family. Hiding an assessment can be a difficult matter that needs to be dealt with the seller really fast prior to closing. For those that never lived in a condominium, this must be really difficult. There are always rules that you need to abide in a condo association, and they are very strict. The condo docs, as these rules are called, are given to the buyer within days of the contract being signed, to have a chance to read them and walk away of the purchase contract if he doesn’t agree with these rules.
Unfortunately very few people read the rules of the condominium and prefer to go through the purchase, only to find out about terms that they can’t live with until it might be too late. Working with a Realtor that understands that each condominium has rules and strict restrictions can minimize the surprises at the end. This way you can check all disclosures long before the closing day. Many times, some rules can be changed over time, by participating in the association meetings, being part of the association board, and helping the members understand that changes can benefit the condominium owners. Most of the time though, one has to learn to live with these rules that were created in the first place to maintain the peaceful living and order between tenants in the same condominium.