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Why can’t I move in tomorrow?

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

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 you can’t yet, you need to be approved by the Association!!

There are millions of condo associations out there, and lots of townhome or single family communities with deed restrictions, and every one of them is a little different. But many of them have one rule in common: No move-in without new owner or new tenant approval!

This is a very common procedure for condos, but the tighter the deed restrictions are, the more likely it is even for townhome and single family subdivisions to have that rule.

Be it a Condo Association or a Home Owner’s Association, each entity would have its own New Owner/New Tenant application form, but the procedure is mostly the same. A complete application package normally has to be submitted to the appropriate Owner’s Association Board, often via the Property Management Company. 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 or purchase contract

Application fee if applicable

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 property are being followed. The copy of the lease ensures for example that the minimum rental periods are being met.

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. Accordingly, if a property has mandatory association fees, it is very likely to require a new resident approval before move-in!

For people new to this process, it just seems to be extra work for new Owners and Tenants. But the fact that a condo or a house are not a hotel, and that you can not simply check-in like at the Holiday Inn, is the very thing that keeps neighborhoods nice, and their resale value up!

Just plan accordingly, and enjoy living in your beautiful new home after you are approved!

Tanja Cisliek |Realtor  cell 727-480-4155  ReachTanja@gmail.com  Call me today if you are thinking about buying or selling real estate, I am here to help!