Common Interest Communities

Choosing a place to live is an essential and important decision, especially if you are buying the home and not just renting.  You will need to decide where to live, what features are important to you and your family, and what type of home you intend to purchase.  Some homes you may be considering could be part of a “common interest community,” which is also referred to as a CIC.  Townhomes, condominiums, and other types of homeowner associations are usually part of these CICs.  All of the owners in a particular community are members of the CIC.  The CIC takes care of other day-to-day responsibilities on behalf of the owners, such as snow removal or yard maintenance, in exchange for a fee.  The Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act, found in Minnesota statutes chapter 515B controls most of these CICs, although chapters 515 or 515A could also apply, depending on some other factors.

Every CIC is required to have a board of directions that governs the CIC.  These directors will be elected according to the declaration that created the association.  In most cases, the board of directors is comprised of unit owners, but in some situations, the builder or developer may choose to maintain control over the association for a period of time, sometimes even until every unit has been sold and occupied.  Usually, however, they will set a shorter time period, such as five years or until a certain percentage of units are sold.  The job of the board is to help maintain the community and hopefully even enhance its value.  Minnesota Statute § 515B also contains restrictions on the powers of the board, including when they can make, amend, or revoke rules.  The board can have wide-ranging powers, including making rules about parking, yard ornaments, flags, or even pet ownership.

When a person is purchasing a home that is included in a CIC, the seller is required to provide very specific information to the potential buyer before the sale.  This information includes the declaration, amendments, bylaws, articles of incorporation, rules and regulations, the most recent financial statement and budget of the CIC, a disclosure statement of resale, and whether there are any outstanding judgments or lawsuits.  After the sale, a purchaser has ten days from the receipt of these disclosures to cancel the purchase agreement.

If you have questions about real estate and buying a home, you should talk to an experienced attorney. Call us at (651) 371-9117 today for a consultation.

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