An Introduction to Common Interest Ownership Communities

by | Feb 5, 2019 | Articles, Insights, Media, Real Estate

In recent years, common interest ownership communities have risen in importance for development projects in Pennsylvania. From center-city high-rises to developments in the suburbs, Pennsylvania developers have turned to condominiums and planned communities to make their projects work. Common interest ownership communities provide the structure and tools needed to meet the challenges and needs of modern real estate development. In addition to the traditional roles of managing amenities and undertaking some maintenance responsibilities, modern communities can take on a variety of roles, from ensuring stormwater regulations are followed to resolving disputes among homeowners.

In this four-part series, we will explore the legal background of condominiums and planned communities, the two most common types of communities in Pennsylvania, as well as explain why the form that is selected is so important for the project. By the end of the series, you will have an understanding of how a condominium legally differs from a planned community, who actually owns the common areas in a community, and why developers should no longer create townhome condominium projects.

Developers, people living in common interest communities, association board members, property managers, municipal officials, and real estate professionals are impacted by the growth in common interest ownership communities. In addition to making development easier, many of these communities take on a quasi-governmental role through their maintenance of common systems like roads and stormwater facilities as well as their enforcement of appearance and use restrictions. Understanding what these communities are and how they work is important for all who live, work, sell, and manage residential real estate.

Erik M. Hume, Esq. is the Chair of Saxton & Stump Real Estate Practice Group. He handles a variety of matters including commercial and residential real estate transactions, land development, commercial loan origination, and counseling of clients on complex condominium and planned community matters. He regularly takes the lead in complex real estate development projects, including the negotiation of agreements of sale, coordinating due diligence, obtaining entitlements, and managing the closing process.

The Full Series on Pennsylvania Common Interest Ownership Communities 

Article 1: An Introduction to Common Interest Ownership Communities
Article 2: The Uniform Condominium Act in a Nutshell 
Article 3: The Planned Community Act and How it Differs from the Condominium Act
Article 4: The Impact of Choosing the Right Type of Community 

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