Condominiums offer certain advantages to those who prefer to live within a community association and share ownership of common areas. The Georgia Condominium Act, found in Chapter 3 of Title 44 of the Georgia Code, sets out the rights and duties of those who develop and purchase condominiums in the state. In addition, each condominium will have its own constitution and by-laws to regulate the specific rights and obligations of each owner.
Creating a Condominium
According to Section 44-3-72 of the Georgia Code, a condominium comes into existence when the owners and lessees of the property record a formal declaration of condominium. Section 44-3-74 provides that the declaration must contain the name of the condominium and the county where it is located.
Section 44-3-71 of the Georgia Code states that all property not part of an individual condominium unit forms part of the common elements. Usually, common elements include the exterior of the building, any recreational facilities and the outside space. Each unit owner shares in the ownership of the common elements. Section 44-3-71 provides that limited common elements may be assigned to individual units: this might include, for example, car parking spaces or balconies.
Condominium associations, comprising elected members, make specific rules regarding the running and organization of each condominium. Section 44-3-79 of the Georgia Code states that the condominium declaration must allocate a number of votes in the association to each unit. If a unit has more than one owner, any of the owners may cast the vote on behalf of the others. The association sets fees on an annual basis to pay for maintenance and improvement of all common elements. A condominium association also makes rules for the benefit of the owners. Section 44-3-76 requires the owners of condominium units to comply with these rules, and allows the association to fine or impose sanctions on owners who fail to do so.
According to Section 44-3-107 of the Georgia Code, the condominium association must obtain an insurance policy to cover the replacement value of all the structural elements of the building, including the common elements. The association must also obtain commercial general liability insurance for any injury or damage arising out of use or ownership of any of the common elements. Unit owners are responsible for insuring their own contents, together with any limited common elements assigned to them.