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Types of Community Associations Continued

In our last post, we talked about what makes up a Planned Community, the most common type of community association.

This week, we’ll review the Condominium Community Structure, the second most common type of community association.


Condominiums are the second most common type of community association. According to recent estimates, 38–42 percent of all community associations are condominiums.

The condominium is a unique form of ownership where the owner typically only owns the air space, but not the physical boundaries of the unit or the land underneath the unit. The owner additionally holds a shared interest in the common area. The separate interest is usually contained within a building.

The owner’s fractional shared interest may be equal or based on another system, such as square footage. For example, if there are 100 condominium units, each owner may own 1/100 of the common area or each owner may own a fractional share based on the size of his or her home.

A condominium is distinguished from other community associations by the fact that the owners generally own the common area as co-owners. As long as co-owners own some common area, however, the association also may own property, as it does in a cooperative and planned community, depending on state law.

Many people think of condominiums as apartment buildings. However, condominiums come in other forms. In some states, mobile home parks, boat slips, and parking garages also can be condominiums. For example, if the owner of a mobile home has a separate or exclusive interest in the mobile home structure and a shared interest in all the area that is not occupied by a mobile home structure, the park can be a condominium.

~ CAI National


The Essentials of Community Association Volunteer Leadership, by Katharine Rosenberry, ESQ.

U.S. Census publications, the American Housing Survey, IRS Statistics of Income Reports, consultation with CAI professional members, and state-specific data from California and Florida and related trade organizations

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