Private Entry Requirement for Condo

R.S. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I thought that all condos had their own private entrance, directly from outside. We rented with option to buy what was described as a condo, but in effect, there are 3 flights of stairs that take you to the front door, which is on an open floor with many different doors opening from it to several condos. Any thoughts on this?

Mister Condo replies:

R.S., from what you are describing, there is a common area leading to the individual units. The units are described in the deed as what is included specific to that condo. There is no requirement that a condo have a private entrance directly from the outside and, in fact, that would be impossible in many circumstances. Think of a multi-floored condominium building. Folks on the fifth floor would need to enter on the first floor and then use shared areas to get to their floor, a shared hallway to get to their unit, and so on. This is quite common. All of these common elements are owned and maintained by the condo association. Your monthly common fee contribution goes, in part, for the upkeep and maintenance of these common elements. Additionally, because these areas are under the direct control of the association, the Board is charged with governing their use. That is why you will have rules about what can and can’t be done in the common areas. A good example is storage. Condos typically prohibit storage of any owner items in common areas. This is to stop folks from having to navigate past bikes, toys, furniture, and any other items folks might try to store in the common areas. The open area you have described is a great example of an association-owned common area. I hope that quick explanation helps. All the best!

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