J.M. from New York writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I’ve always been told that when you own a condo, all you own is the inside of your unit, ie. your living quarters, your garage and your patio. Is this correct?
Mister Condo replies:
J.M., that is certainly one way of defining what you own when you own a condo but every condo association is different and there are often variations on common elements and limited common elements. If you have never done so, take a few minutes and read through your governing documents and take a look at the deed to your condo. Typically, the building and the common grounds are owned by the association, which is a not-for-profit corporation and your unit ownership makes you a voting member or shareholder in the corporation. The governing documents tend to define units as “from the walls” in or “from the paint in” which is likely where your understanding comes from. Further, if the unit has limited common elements such as a garage or patio or deck that is exclusively for the use of the unit owner, that may also be a part of your condo. It is important to know what is and isn’t your responsibility when you purchase homeowners’ insurance. Thanks for the question!