Common Interest Community (“CIC”) Rules & Reg’s

Test your knowledge of Common Interest Communities — typically associated with condo’s and town homes — and answer the following multiple choice question:

Which of the following is most likely to be a deal breaker in the sale of a condo or town home?

A. No fireplace — and no way to (cost-effectively) add one.
B. Overstating the unit’s finished square feet.
C. Electric-only (vs. gas) range-top cooking.
D. The Association’s pet policy.
E. All of the above.

Correct answer:  “D.” (credit also given for “E.”)

In my experience, the surest way to nix the sale of a condo or town home is an Association that won’t allow “Fido” (or “Mittens”).

rulesWhile it’s much less common, I’m sure there are also instances of the reverse — that is, would-be Buyers who pass on a complex because they don’t want to deal with their neighbors’ pets.

Either way, it’s vital for listing agents to correctly note the Association’s policy in the appropriate field on MLS — and for prospective Buyers (and their agents) to note same.

Exceptions to the Rule

While it’s theoretically possible to obtain a waiver from the Association, in practice, the logistics — and therefore, the slow response time — usually precludes such an option.

So, Sellers are usually consigned to waiting 5-7 days for a Buyer to do their inspection and resolve any issues that arise.

Per Minnesota statute, Sellers must also give Buyers 10 days to rescind once they’re delivered all relevant Association doc’s (Articles, Bylaws, financials, etc.).

However, it’s the rare (non-existent?) Seller who’s willing to wait a few weeks to find out if the Buyer will receive a variance for their pet(s) and proceed with the sale.

P.S.:  The same logic applies to deals contingent on the Buyer receiving a variance to expand a one-car garage, add a curb cut, alter a historically designated home, etc.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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