Condo Sales are Heating Up – Read Your Declaration of Condominium Before You Buy

Dont get caught in the hype.  Read your Declaration of Condominium Before you Buy

declaration-of-condominium-bylawsIf you’re considering purchasing a Florida condominium, it’s important that you do your due diligence first and make sure you know what you’re getting into. This is why it’s so important to read over the Declaration of Condominium, also sometimes called the Condo Rules and Regulations. It helps ensure that you know what you’re getting before purchasing.

What is included in the Declaration of Condominium?

This document is typically the initial legal document that defines what the condominium is, the specifics of each unit, governing rules for the condominium, information about the condominium owners’ association, and more. The Declaration of Condominium is usually filed at the Office of Registry of Deeds or similar offices in the county the condominium will be or is built in. This document is used to sell the condominium development and should always be given to interested owners prior to making a purchase.

Why It’s Important for You

You want to know what you’re getting into before you purchase, especially if the condo development is not built yet. This document will give you the specifics on the size of the unit and any other proposed details for the unit. Historically they didn’t always require architectural plans of the units and layouts.  Over the years the requirements have changed and this is now found in almost all Declarations. If the condominium is already built, it should help you determine common problems within the condominium and how those problems are handled by the owners’ association or the board. Fire damage, Eminent domain, pet restrictions, etc. etc.  It’s a document you’re going to want a copy of so you can refer to it if issues should pop up after you’ve purchased the condominium.


This document will outline the rights of a condominium unit owner pertaining to their own specific unit as well as how complaints are handled and more. By reading this document before signing any paperwork, you can get a great sense of how the condominium is operated and whether it’s under a good ownership association or condominium board or not. It can help you avoid falling into a trap that you’ll be sorry for later.  Voting is not necessarily divided equally among owners and may be prorated based on the size of units.  These are things you need to review up front.

Rules and Guidelines for Condominium Owners

In addition to the above information, the Declaration of Condominium should provide information regarding the rules and guidelines for the entire condominium. This will help you determine whether those specific rules and guidelines are fair or like some condominiums, if they’re nitpicky and too controlling.  We would always recommend that in addition to the rules and regulations filed in the Declaration of Condominium that you also ask the association directly if there are supplemental condo rules and regulations that maybe are not filed properly but are being enforced.  Asking up front is always a safer route.

The document will most likely be several pages long, so it’s important to take your time reading through it to make sure you understand every point within it. This is essential to everyone considering purchasing a condominium. If you aren’t given the time to read through the document or it seems that it’s an inconvenience that you want to do so, you should probably move on to the next available condominium or hire an attorney to review it for you.  Once you purchase it, you own.

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