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New Jersey’s Condominium Act

October 30, 2013 Posted in Community Association Law

Condo owners purchase more than just a living space when they sign their deeds; they also gain access to a community of condo owners, sharing common areas such as pools and lawns, and decisions about maintenance, decoration, and expansion within the community. Condo owners benefit from the influence of a homeowners association in protecting the residents’ shared interests and living spaces. The attorneys at Griffin Alexander, P.C., condominium association lawyers in New Jersey, find that the legal processes and documentation involved in condo ownership and governance are vital to ensuring that both parties are satisfied and protected in their rights.

A homeowners association provides residents of a condo complex with a self-imposed governing system, in which residents can vote amongst themselves to elect members of the community’s board of directors, as well as committees for community improvement causes. This type of self-governance is a draw for condo owners who want to have influence in the day-to-day management and maintenance of their community. 

In New Jersey, homeowners associations are governed by a master deed. According to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, this deed is “a comprehensive statute with thirty-eight sections governing everything from [the] creation to dissolution” of the association. These deeds were made mandatory following the passage of the Condominium Act of New Jersey in 1970, a state law that established the basic design for creating condos and complexes. The Condo Act requires property owners of condo complexes to file a master deed that names the condo and describes both the units and the common elements available to residents. The deed must also qualify what percentage of interest each owner has in the common elements.

Also regulated in the Condo Act is the transitional process of moving control of the community from the developer to the association and the new unit owners. After the sale of the property, the developer’s role is reduced within the community, and his voting rights are scaled back to reflect this change. Any major contracts that the developer has entered into on the association’s behalf must be limited to a two-year period, to avoid burdening the association with long-term contracts after the developer has ceded control.

All unit owners have the right to attend board meetings and vote on relevant changes in their complex, community association lawyers at Griffin Alexander, P.C., in New Jersey say.  They should also have access to pertinent documents regarding rules and regulations, including the master deed, when they move in. The bylaws and association rules have the most impact on residents’ day-to-day interactions with the community as a whole, and unit owners should be able to reference these rules for themselves. 

At New Jersey law firm Griffin Alexander, P.C., the community association lawyers offer legal advice and counsel to homeowners associations and their members who are establishing new condo communities or to represent their existing communities.

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