It happened again, and it will probably happen again in the future: I showed a condo to a client, he really likes the amenities and condo, and he wants to move-in this coming Monday. But I have to tell him he can't. He is upset, because the condo is vacant. "It's vacant, I got the money, I want to move in!" - But condos are not hotels!
There are millions of condo associations out there, and every one is a little different, but most of them have one rule in common: No move-in without new owner or new tenant approval!
Each Association would have its own New Owner/New Tenant application form, but the procedure is mostly the same. A complete application package has to be submitted to the appropriate Property Management Company for approval, and the complete application package typically consists of:
- The Application Form, completed and signed by all applicable parties (typically Seller and Buyer/Owner and Tenant)
- Copy of the executed (signed) lease
- Application fee
Application Fees range greatly, I've seem them from $50 to $100, and some of the Associations waive the fee if the same Tenant(s) renew for subsequent lease periods.
The documentation is reviewed, verified, and approval notice is given to the Seller/Owner and/or other interested parties like Title Companies or Property Management Companies.
Why is this approval so important to the Association?
They would like to know whom to contact in case of emergency. Whom can they call if there seems to be a safety issue or problem at the condo, like water dripping from the ceiling in the condo under you? Is the unit occupied or vacant, what if maintenance on the common area like the walkways requires access to the unit? The application form is where the Association is learning the new Owner/Tenants's name, phone numbers, etc.
The application process ensures that the deed restrictions at the condo complex are being followed. The copy of the lease ensures for example that the minimum rental periods are being met. Some buildings do not allow pets, or reserve the privilege of pet ownership for owners, the application process ensures that Tenants do not bring pets into those buildings.
One very important point is that Sellers can't sell without being current on their association dues, and typically Owner's aren't able to get approval for a new Tenant if they aren't in good standing with the Association. And that keeps the complex financially healthy and stable.
For people new to condo living, this just seems to be extra work for new Owners and Tenants. But the fact that condos are not a hotel, and that you can not simply check-in like at the Holiday Inn, is the very thing that keeps condo complexes nice, and their resale value up!
Harbourside South Pasadena, FL is a very good example how the application process ensures that a community stays the nice, polished and gated community that it is, even in a struggling economy when money is tight for everybody!
Just plan accordingly, and enjoy the beautiful condo lifestyle after you are approved!