Condo is the common term, specifically in the United States, which refers to a residential unit with shared access to various facilities and infrastructure of the entire development. The condo or unit is normally owned outright by the owner or purchaser, and the privilege as owner is extended to the use of these common areas, and controlled by all owners, normally as an association of owners or a body corporate, which is representative of all condo or unit owners in the entire development.
The term condo is a legal term for the apartment type dwelling in the US, whilst in other countries a similar setup is referred to as strata title in Australia, and some of Canada’s provinces. In the United Kingdom the term used is common hold, which is in fact a fairly new concept there, having being introduced in 2004.
Essentially a condo will form part of a larger development with a number of residences, normally the same or similar. The technicalities surrounding a condo include the fact that a unit owner is entitled to effect any alterations or improvements to their unit on the inside of the unit only. The areas where all other residents have access, for example the gardens or hallways and stairs outside of the unit are not allowed to be modified by the unit owner in his capacity as home owner. Any changes to these common areas is normally done by vote of the owner’s association, and then carried out on their instruction and supervision. The common areas are only held in trust by the mentioned association and never belong to the association itself.
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