Frequently Asked Questions about the Condominium Property Regime

Is a condominium a legal entity?

No. A condominium is a property that can be used independently by different owners, with common elements of indivisible nature, all under a special ownership regime. However, for practical purposes, it has been given certain rights and obligations by equating it to a legal entity when, in fact, it is not, being a condominium able to, for example, be an employer and be registered before the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, be registered before the Ministry of Finance, hire privately, and have representatives.

Can common areas and elements be taken advantage of by only certain owners and not by everyone?

Yes. The Regulatory Law of Condominium Property mentions that common elements belong to all condominium owners, who will have in them a proportional right to the percentage representing the area set for their private unit within the condominium. However, discrimination is made between common things of general use and restricted use, being the last ones the figure that would allow only certain private units to take advantage of certain specific common elements, following what is stated in the condominium constitution deed.

What happens if I do not pay condominium fees or any other financial obligations related to the condominium?

Article 20 of the Regulatory Law of Condominium Property specifically states that, in this context, the private unit will be affected, as collateral, preferably and from its origin, by the breach of such obligations. The non-payment of these obligations automatically constitutes a legal mortgage over the private unit, being a certification issued by an authorized public accountant, the base document or executive title to initiate a foreclosure process.

What happens if I buy a private unit on which financial obligations with the condominium are due?

Whether in a purchase or in any type of transfer, both the purchaser and the former owner will be considered debtors. In other words, solidarity debtors on existing debts. It is always recommended in these cases to request a certification issued by the condominium administration, stating the status of the obligations on the private unit.

What faculties does a condominium administrator have?

Be responsible for all acts of administration and conservation of the condominium and the execution of the agreements of the Condominium Assembly, being a natural person or a legal entity. The administrator will act as a condominium representative, and his type of proxy will be a general power of attorney, which may vary according to what each Condominium and Administration Regulation stipulates, or according to the will of the Condominium Assembly.

What decisions are made in a condominium?

Each Condominium and Administration Regulation will be responsible for establishing the rules on this. However, the Regulatory Law of Condominium Property lays down the basis to follow, there are three types of votes in Condominium Assembly: 1) Unanimous vote for: modify the general objective of the condominium; vary the proportional area of the private units; renounce to the condominium property regime; assign or dispose of the condominium in its entirety and modify the clauses of the constitution deed or the Condominium and Administration Regulation. 2) Vote of two-thirds of the total value of the condominium for: vary the special objective of a private unit; build new floors or basements, excavate, or authorize any of the owners to carry out this work; acquire new common elements, vary the objective of existing ones or arrange in any way how they can be used; to authorize the lease of common elements, and to approve the partial or total reconstruction of the condominium. 3) Vote of the majority of the condominium value: this is for any other matter.

What value should be assigned to a private unit since their constitution?

There is no express rule or regulation about it. Therefore, it is always at the discretion of each developer at the time of the condominium constitution to assign the percentage values and co-ownership coefficients that he considers convenient, at his discretion, for each private unit.

What is the difference between “co-ownership coefficient” and “percentage value”?

The co-ownership coefficient is the index that establishes the percentage share in the common elements of the condominium of each of the private unit owner, while the percentage value is that percentage share index that a condominium owner has relative to the total value of the same condominium or building.

 

 

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us at ccartin@lexincorp.com

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