What are the Costa Rica Condo Owner Rights?
Planning to buy a condo? Do you have any idea about Costa Rica condo owner rights? Before you purchase a condo in Costa Rica, from a developer or a re-sale, you should first request a copy of the bylaws. As a condo owner you have rights and responsibilities that are described in the bylaws. You should know about these before you decide to purchase.
In Costa Rica, the description of “condo” covers both an apartment in a building as well as a town house (attached or detached). These are always in a community registered in the National Register as a condominium.
The bylaws of a condo in Costa Rica are part of the constitution of this condominium in the National Register. You can ask your attorney to get a copy. Also, you can go yourself to the National Register in Zapote or any of the regional offices. There, request a copy of the constitution and the bylaws by giving them the Folio Real number of the property. I have seen sellers deliver a completely different set of bylaws, so make sure you get to see the original that is formally registered in the National Register.
In the bylaws of the condominium, you will find what your rights are. Let’s go over them:
Property rights of the condo
One of the most important Costa Rica condo owner rights is your title. Have full title of your apartment or house in condominium, parking and storage area if available and know the exact size. In some cases, the parking spot(s) you purchase have their own title and sometimes they are part of the common areas. Also, they have to be marked and shown as such in the survey registered in the Catastro Nacional (Cadaster). In either case, you have the sole rights over those parking spots. Citizens, foreign residents and non-residents have the same rights of ownership.
The use of the condo
The use of your condo is stipulated in the constitution of the condominium. This can be residential or commercial use. You can find the Costa Rica condo owner rights and obligations in the bylaws, which are located in the constitution of the condominium.
Rent your condo
You are allowed to rent your condo as you see fit, as long as your tenant lives by the regulations stipulated in the bylaws, as opposed to some other countries. For that reason, buying a condo in Costa Rica using your retirement funds is a great and safe investment.
Use of the common areas and amenities
If you are up to date with your condo fee payments, you have the free use of the common areas and amenities available in the condominium. As long as you follow the regulations stipulated in the bylaws.
You can attend all home owner meetings. You can vote at owners’ meetings, elect board members, be elected as a board member. Also, you can request a meeting and request that an issue be added to the agenda. As long as you are up to date with your condo fees.
First of all, you can request in writing a review of the condominium records. The board has the obligation to releas financial statements and the meeting minutes.
Modification and repair of your condo
Furthermore, each owner may carry out modifications and repairs inside the condo. Any innovation or modification affecting the structure, main walls or other essential elements of the condominium is prohibited. What is allowed and what not is described in the bylaws, with all other Costa Rica condo owner rights and obligations.
Finally, as a last recommendation, use a knowledgeable real estate agent when buying a condo in Costa Rica. Preferably an American-European Real Estate Group affiliate. Our group offers over 2,000 Costa Rica real estate listings with an unusually large inventory of property condos from coast to coast. Contact us now to help you further.
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