Condominium

In many European countries, as well as in Canada and the USA, there is such a concept as «condominium». It refers to the co-ownership of property, specifically a block of flats. Each member of a condominium personally owns his or her own flat, and co-owns some small spaces (entrance hall, stairs, cellar, yard).

Originally, condominiums were created to manage the common property more efficiently. The condominium members decide on the rules of the shared square metres usage, agree on their maintenance, contribute money to the common treasury as monthly instalments, hire employees for cleaning, etc.

In some other countries, there are analogues of condominiums, the so-called «homeowners’ associations» (HOAs). HOAs and condominiums are non-profit organisations.

Some of the advantages of this form of ownership are more transparent control over the expenses for maintenance and daily works, clear rules for the use of the common area, and participation in decision making regarding the common area. The territory of condominiums is usually better maintained in comparison to the one managed by the public service. For condominiums’ residents it is easier to agree on opening a playground, installing a bicycle parking spot or creating a winter garden in the common areas.

One of the disadvantages of condominiums is the high maintenance costs. However, regular payments guarantee residents a variety of bonuses. For example, a typical US condominium is a multi-storey building with its own swimming pool, fitness area, concierge, security, and other benefits.

The concept of «co-ownership» is also very common in resort cities in countries such as the US, Thailand, France and others. As most resort residents visit their properties only a few times a year, it is up to the condominium management to decide how their properties will be maintained during their absence.

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