Townhomes, Condominiums, Cooperatives

Community Association (unit owners)  -  A community association is a residential
development with owners tied to the real estate organization by governing documents on
conduct and assessments to operate the association.  Membership into the association is
automatic with a unit purchase.  Associations are governed by Minnesota Statutes,
primarily Chapter 515B ( Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act ) and Chapter 317A
( Non Profit Corporation Act ).  Community associations are formed into either
CONDOMINIUMS, TOWNHOUSES ( planned unit developments ), or COOPERATIVES.

        
Condominiums – These are high rise building with exteriors and surrounding
grounds owned and maintained by an association.  Owners own the area inside the walls
of their units.  Owners have undivided ownership in common elements such as roof,
exterior building surfaces and grounds.

        
Townhouses ( a planned unit development)  - Townhouses developments are
platted lands where owners own the unit and land adjacent to the unit.  Often, party walls
are between units, with joint responsibility of the owners. The community association is
responsible to maintain exterior building faces, and owns any common areas.

        
Cooperatives – A less popular community association, where the community
association has title to the land, including units and common areas.  Share interest or a
lease provide an owner exclusive right to a unit in a building.


The association has a volunteer Board of Directors, which authorizes operations be
either self managed or hired management. The Board meets monthly on issues of the
association.  Annually, the association owners meet to elect a new board and update
owners of the association operations status. Community Associations are governed by
four major documents, each with a different function.

1.        
Declaration – controls the real estate which creates the association, such as real
estate definitions, maintenance, obligations, and it is the main document creating the
association and subjecting the land to association rule.

2.        
Articles of Incorporation – These are filed with the State to create the
association as a non-profit corporation with powers and duties.

3.       
 Bylaws  - These are guidelines controlling the association, such as meetings,
quorums, voting, board, officers, and directors of the association.

4.        
Rules and Regulations – These are detailed guidelines for daily operation of the
association, such as pet rules, collections, storage, property use restrictions, and parking.
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THE CIC is formally known as “Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act” Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 515B.  The
CIC Plat is a part of the declaration in 1) condominiums and cooperatives where unit owner have interests in real estate
and 2) in planned communities complying with section 515B.2-110. Important concepts for CIC Plats are given below.

  • CIC PLAT is required for condominiums, planned communities, and cooperatives. The CIC Plat is part of the
    declaration in condominiums and cooperatives.  The CIC plat must be certified by a licensed professional land
    surveyor.  

  • COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY or CIC means real estate where a person owns or occupies part of the real
    estate.

  • CONDOMINIUM is a CIC where portions of real estate are units, the remainder of real estate is common
    ownership by owners of the units.

  • COOPERATIVE is a CIC where real estate is owned by an association, whose members have proprietary leases.

  • FLEXIBLE CIC is a CIC where additional real estate may be added.

  • PLANNED COMMUNITY is a CIC not a condominium or cooperative.  A condominium or cooperative may be part
    of a planned community.

  • COMMON ELEMENTS other than limited common elements may be used in common by all unit owners.

  • LIMITED COMMON ELEMENTS are designated for exclusive use by unit owners.