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Condo Ownership, Mold Issues, and More

Oct 10, 2007
Owning a condo is a good alternative to owning a house if you do not want to have to keep up with a lot of things that would normally come along with owning a house. Some condominiums do not have yards to take care of and this is convenient for those of us who do not enjoy outside work very much. You will, however, most likely have to pay homeowner's association fees every month to pay for the upkeep of the property.

These fees generally cover plumbing issues, problems with the roof, keeping common areas like pools, gyms, and spas clean. Even though you may not use these areas, you will still have to pay the fees to cover keeping them clean every month.

Issues like mold and water damage that come into your unit from outside its walls (for example, from a neighboring unit or the shell of the building itself) will be taken care of by the condo association and your monthly HOA fees should cover this. If water leaks down from the unit above you and causes mold growth, you are not responsible for cleaning it up most of the time.

If you find a mold problem in your unit and you are certain that it is not your fault, you should notify your condo association as soon as possible. It is usually best to do this with a certified letter, so you are absolutely certain that they received your request for assistance. Do not complain verbally, because if you end up having to go to court, a verbal claim will not hold up.

You need to create a paper trail of evidence that there is a problem and that you have complained about it. Some states require that problems like this be resolved in a timely manner, so take advantage of this if you live in one of them.

Condos are also governed by a collection of rules that are called "Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions". This means that there are rules regarding how many people will be living in the unit, whether pets are allowed, what kind of renovations you can do, and sometimes even down to what kind of curtains you want to put up. Most condominiums want the look of the community to remain consistent.

Renting out your unit may also be subject to the approval of the condo association. If they do not like the tenant you choose to rent the condo to, they may not let you do it.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
Texas Water Damage Restoration and
Houston Water Damage Restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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