legalities? can a place named an apartment ever be a condo?

ReinRammMay 28, 2004

If a place is called an apartment, such as the Scenic Garden Apartments or the Jamestown Farm Apartments, can they ever be in actuality condos?

I know apartments can be converted into condos, but MUST they get rid of the apartment attachment once they are converted?

Thank you!


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Belinda - not sure how the laws work in your state. It is my understanding here in New York State, that the name of a condo or cooperative corporation is limited only by the Uniform Commercial Code, and other naming regulations regarding corporations. I do not believe that there is a requirement that the name of a condo corporation be prohibited from containing the word apartment.

That said, the "marketing" name of the complex, used on signs and other incidental materials does not even need to be the same as the name of the underlying corporation. There appears to be even less regulation on this name, so it would seem that the term 'apartment' would have no bearing on the underlying form of ownership of the units in the complex.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2004 at 11:22AM
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I have no real help for you here, but I live in a condo in MA which contains the word "apartment" - so it can be done (at least here)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2004 at 2:19PM
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I answered this on your other thread, but just for folks who come here only:

"apartment" refers to the physical attributes of the dwelling--that it's multiple dwellings (even if only 2) in the same building. It is not a legal definition. It's just a practical one. The same is true for houses, town homes, etc. That word had no legal restriction or definition. It just defines the physical characteristics of the building.

There's no LAW about what can be labeled an apartment.

And THAT is distinct from the NAME. They can put anything they want on the sign; as Lanzz points out, that's a marketing decision. They could call 'em castles. They could call 'em homes. They could not use a noun at all, and just call 'em "Sherman Hills."

Condominium refers to the legal organization of the ownership of units. The sort of individual-ownership-yet-joint-ownership-and-management-of-common-areas organization can occur for apartment buildings and town homes. "multiunit structure" and "land owned in common" are the key phrases. So you can see that you don't even have to have an apt. bldg to have a Condo.

Ditto for co-ops, which is what most non-rental NYC apt. bldgs are.

And again, you could LABEL something a condo, and it not be; the only law that would come into effect would be possible fraud. But if the sign said "condo" and you went to buy, and they said, "oh, we changed to a co-op; here are the bylaws and legal papers; we just couldn't be bothered changing the sign," there'd be nothing legally wrong w/ that. Perhaps false advertising, but they'd argue that the sign wasn't advertising, it was just the label.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 1:09PM
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