By Dez Duran-Lamanilao
Image source: VRBO
Thinking of purchasing a condominium unit along the Gulf Coast? Or need guidance in managing your current property? Whichever it is, condominium unit owners should bear in mind that while they can exercise their rights as owners, they also have responsibilities not just to their tenants if they are renting out their property, but to the whole community as well.
Let’s start first with the costs of maintaining a condominium unit. The monthly dues will usually include insurance on the unit, sewer and waste management, regular maintenance, and utilities, which account for most of the monthly costs. The owner should make sure that these are paid on time to avoid the risks of more damages should unforeseen events happen.
If you are renting out your property, you have the right to demand from the renters to treat the unit with care and you can set out limitations in your contract, so everything falls in its proper place. If you want greater protection, you can choose to purchase an optional contents policy to protect yourself from any future damage caused by your renter(s), accidents that may bring harm to your renters, and outages.
As a condominium owner, you own a share of the common elements in the whole building itself, such as parking lot, pools, tennis courts, playground, hallways, and many others. The condominium association should ensure that roofs, elevators, and other building elements are immediately restored if defective or damaged, or are undergoing regular maintenance, for the protection of both the owners and renters.
While living in a condominium would give you instant access to security, building facilities and other privileges given to owners, you should be responsible enough in making sure that you are not disturbing your neighbors. Avoid hosting late night parties, dragging chairs or furniture in the middle of the night, owning a large or barking pet, and well, arguing in a loud manner with household members. Bear in mind that your neighbors are just a few meters away and would probably love (or hate) being involved with your domestic issues.
Finally, as a condominium owner, you should have access to important documents, be spared from discrimination in relation to age, sex, race, etc., and be able to practice your role and right to elect directors to the association’s board. Everything too much to handle? Consider getting the advice of a professional so you’ll know when and how to set things in motion.