Condominium Governance Legal

Condo Guest or Condo Resident?

J.A. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

What is the general description of a guest versus resident in a condominium?

Mister Condo replies:

J.A., I am not aware of a generalized description for the term guest versus resident in a condominium. In fact, state and local laws also vary on the subject. As it pertains to condominium ownership, there are usually two classifications. There are owners (the folks who hold the legal deeds to the individual units). There are renters (the folks who hold a valid leasing agreement with an owner). All other folks would likely fall into the category of guest with regards to their relationship to the association. While you didn’t get into specifics of why you are asking, there are several areas where the “guest” versus “undocumented tenant” come into play, including those “guests” who never seem to leave. An owner or renter has a long-term “guest” who for all intents and purposes is a de facto resident of the condominium unit. There is no formal documentation between the unit owner and the association documenting this person’s right to use association facilities, park their vehicle on association grounds, etc. There is also no clear path to cite this person for rules violations and such. This puts the Board at odds with the unit owner, who is, in fact, the only responsible party for the actions taken by tenants or guests of any unit. States like Florida have gone further in defining guests and even family members with regards as to who is eligible to use association facilities. 3rd Cousin Jimmy can’t stay at the Florida condo for a week and take a vacation there if the rules forbid it. As you can see, defining the roles of residents can be very important for successful governance of a condominium association. If your documents are unclear about the roles, it may be time to add some definition. Good luck!

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