How a condominium legally works and what are the rights and obligations of owners.
The condominium regime is a document granted before a notary public in Mexico and recorded with the Public Registry of Property. The Condominium Regime contains the individual condominium development’s owners’ rules and regulations.
This regime contains the corresponding licenses, location, surfaces, metes and boundaries, description of the property, its private units and common areas or strata, value of each property and common shares, use and description of the property, cases when the condo regime may be amended, payment of maintenance fees, construction permits, plans, blueprints, common shares table, utilities plans, appraisal, and rules and regulations.
The condominium regime is the manual of your condominium showing all the information regarding engineering, architectural, managing and legal procedures that you need to know.
The By-Laws are part of the condominium regime and shall contain the rights and obligations of the owners, the procedure to collect maintenance and reserve fees, the amount and periodicity of these fees, the type of management the condominium has, as well as the procedures to establish a surveillance committee, to hold the owners’ meetings, to change the by-laws, the use of common areas, and the issues foreseen by the law and the condominium regime among other matters.
Type of properties
A condominium is composed of private units and common areas or strata, with the understanding that a private unit is the property that its owner can dispose of, while common areas or strata are owned by all the owners in common shares, and are regulated by condominium regime and by-laws.
Who is an owner - or Cóndomino
By law, an owner is the person (individual or corporation) that has ownership rights in respect to a property. It is the owner (or the beneficiary in first place of a Bank Trust) of a private unit of a condominium.
What are the governing bodies in a condominium?
The governing bodies in a condominium are the Owners Meeting, the Surveillance Committee and the Manager of the condominium.
The Owners Meeting(or Home Owners Association – HOA) is the supreme body and the only one allowed to amend the condo regime, to appoint the Manager and the Surveillance Committee. Also, to establish maintenance and reserve fees, and approve budgets and reports. The Owners Meeting is the supreme body in a condominium and it does not need to be incorporated as an entity to meet and approve resolutions related to the condo, with the understanding that these meetings need to be carried out in accordance to the law and the by-laws.
In Mexico, it is recommended to create a Civil Association so that this entity becomes allowed to open bank accounts, hire employees and pay the expenses of the condominium. With an A.C. you may reduce tax and labor contingencies for individuals, with the understanding that owners meetings may be held without having an A.C * A.C. is similar concept to what Americans and Canadians call a Home Owners Association (HOA).
The Surveillance Committee is comprised of three to five owners and its main functions are to supervise the performance of the Complex Manager, to verify the reports provided by the Condominium Manager, to control the use of funds, to inform the Owners Meeting about any concern related to the management, to call meetings and to request the presence of a notary public.
The Surveillance Committee are the “eyes” for the rest of the condominium owners in order to check that everything is running smoothly.
The Condominium Manager is the person in charge of keeping the minutes book, taking care of the goods of the condominium, carrying out the resolutions approved by the Owners Meeting, keeping records of all documents and information, managing the condominium, collecting fees from the owners, paying expenses, issuing receipts, delivering reports, calling meetings, verifying the fulfillment of applicable regulations, and additionally, the Condominium Manager has a power of attorney for litigation and collection and to initiate administrative or judicial procedures against owners who do not fulfill their corresponding obligations.