The Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act
When looking at condominiums and planned communities, it's essential to remember that the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act (UCA) governs the former. Pennsylvania adopted the Act in 1980 to oversee the formation and operation of condominiums. Before the UCA, the Unit Property Act ruled condominiums in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth repealed the UPA. The condominium attorneys from our Buck County real estate law firm can make sure you comply with the UCA.
Defining a Condominium
Legally, a condominium represents a form of real estate ownership. So when an individual buys into a condominium, they purchase a designated portion of the property. As a result, they become the exclusive owner, called a "unit." In addition, common elements of the condominium comprise the communal portions of the property, sharing an undivided interest with other unit owners.
As a result, a deed conveying ownership of a unit includes the common elements, whether specifically referenced in the deed or not. An association is responsible for the maintenance and regulation of the common elements. However, the association lacks title or ownership to that portion of the property.
The purchaser is also subject to the declaration and bylaws. The association established its bylaws before giving the deed. Most condominium documents provide enforcement mechanisms for non-payment and violation of the declaration or bylaws.
Condominiums are generally viewed as multi-family apartment-style structures. However, they have also been used to establish semi-detached (townhome) communities and even single-family detached communities. Condominiums allow for division of interest in real estate outside the scope of traditional subdivision and land development requirements. However, the right to do so is not controlled or restricted.
Talk to our condominium attorneys if you need legal advice as a developer or resident.
How Our Condominium Attorneys Can Help
The condominium attorneys in our Doylestown law office have extensive experience creating condominium complexes and planned communities in Pennsylvania. For example, that experience includes an array of projects:
- Development of significant luxury high-rise projects in Philadelphia
- Conversion of high-rise office buildings to mixed residential/commercial condominiums
- Conversion of rental townhouses to the condominium form of ownership
- Creation of "land condominiums" as a method of dividing property ownership
- Use of condominium regimes as a financing device.
In addition, our condominium lawyers have created several "master condominiums." These complexes comprise three or four large commercial units, with one of those units developed as a residential "sub-condominium" with multiple sub-condominium units. We've also created a condominium regime for boat slips on the Delaware River.
Apart from creating condominiums or planned communities, our condo attorneys have represented several condominium associations, giving us insight into the day-to-day workings of such associations and the dynamics of dealing with the developers from "the other side of the table."
If you're looking for legal advice on condominium complexes, talk with one of our real estate attorneys today. We have a long-standing tradition as a local law firm in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. We can also support you with other real estate concerns like construction law, real estate litigation, zoning and land development, and more.