Do Unrelated Co-Owners of Condo Need a Special Contract?

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N.P. from New Haven County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Does a condominium association have the right to require unrelated owners to sign a special contract with respect to their co-ownership of the unit?

Mister Condo replies:

N.P., that is an interesting question and I am guessing the answer lies within your condominium documents. Ownership of a unit by unrelated people is not that uncommon. I am not sure what kind of special contract we are talking about here. Generally speaking, regardless of the ownership of the unit, the listed owners on the deed are bound by the condo documents as they are part and parcel of the purchase of the unit. I do know of certain circumstances where people cohabitate and split mortgage payments, common fees, utilities, etc. and effectively treat it as if both are unit owners, when, in reality, only the person who signed the sales agreement is the owner, making the cohabitant effectively a tenant. Although the owner is the only person with true liability as owner of the unit, I can think of no reason an association would require a special contract with the cohabitant.

Owners of condominium units are generally required to keep the association apprised of things like their contact information. It is possible that the association is simply requesting this information. Again, this isn’t a contract; it is simply a need to know who the owner(s) of record are in the event of an assessment or a delinquency of common fees or special assessment. Owners are not allowed to remain anonymous because there is a legal relationship between the association and the owners of the units within the association.

If you would care to provide a bit more information, I might be able to give a more detailed answer. If this answer sufficed your needs, thank you for writing. All the best!

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