Townhomes: A Different Breed of Residential Real Estate
While duplexes, townhomes, and condominiums all share some similarities as multi-unit residential properties, from a legal standpoint they vastly differ in several important aspects. Understanding these differences will lead to better representation of your clients interested in selling or purchasing units in a multi-family property.
In the last installment of Title Tuesdays, we discussed the nuances of duplexes, and pointed out that in order to sell or purchase a single unit of a duplex, the lot on which the duplex is located must be replatted into separate lots, with a shared common wall between them. Townhomes, on the other hand, are multiple connected units under one roof, constructed on separate platted lots. Before building townhomes, the developer will have already obtained city consent for reduced lot-size, attached units. As a result, each unit may be sold separately, as each unit is situated on its own separate lot. However, a prospective purchaser of a unit should make sure that the townhome has adequate agreements in place between the unit owners as to the use, repair and maintenance of common areas, landscaping, joint driveways, shared walls, facade and roof. Your client will probably want to avoid waking up in their new unit only to find the owner of the attached unit painting his side of the structure hot pink!
This Title Tuesday Tip is provided courtesy of Rattikin & Rattikin, LLP, attorneys and counsel for Rattikin Title Company and is not a legal representation or statement of law. Please confer with your legal counsel for any and all legal questions.