Who is Considered a Declarant of a Condominium and What Are Their Rights?

When you are considering purchasing a condominium, it’s important that you understand as much about it as possible. One thing that you should be aware of is who is considered a Declarant of the condominium and what their rights are or who controls which rights. Here is what to know. 

Who is a Declarant?

Generally, the “Declarant” is the person or entity that owns the property upon which the condominium will be built. When a developer declares through a declaration that land will be restricted to a condominium, the developer also reserves certain rights as the Declarant.

The Declarant has a lot of authority to set the restrictions and covenants of future unit owners. The Declarant can also establish the Home Owner’s Association (HOA). After most of the condominiums in a building have been sold, the developer will create the HOA board and will give the board the rights and responsibilities associated with taking care of the building and community. 

Although developers don’t have to keep declarant rights for themselves, they usually do.

How Do You Know the Identity of Your Condo’s Declarant?

While you may not know that your condominium building has a Declarant, or who the Declarant is, you can find out. Declarants can always be located in public land records, which can be found in the county location of the condominium. 

What Are the Rights of the Declarant?

You can locate the Declarant rights in the condominium’s Declaration, which can be located in the unit owners’ contract, through the Declarant, or through the HOA. After the formation of the condominium community, the Declarant is able to reserve just about any rights they desire. 

Various types of rights that Declarants often reserve include:

  • Construction
  • Promotion
  • Architectural control
  • Easement
  • Dedication
  • Assignment
  • Assessment
  • Amendment

Can Declarant Rights Be Transferred?

A Declarant can transfer declarant rights in whole or in part to other individuals or entities, such as corporations. This can usually occur without the approval of the HOA. Developers will often transfer their declarant rights to home builders, lenders, and other subsequent developers. Therefore, it’s important to understand that the original Declarant as listed in the original Declaration for the condominium may not be the current Declarant or may be a co-Declarant with another party or parties.

So, How Do You Know the Identity of the Current Declarant?

When transferring declarant rights, the law requires that there is a public record of it. The date that the document is recorded or filed is the date that the transfer becomes effective. Declarant rights will be transferred using an Assignment of Declarant Rights, which will be filled out by the Declarant who is transferring the rights and the person or entity that they are being transferred to. Since declarant rights can be transferred in whole or in part, there may be more than one Declarant of condominium at any given time. 

A Declarant no longer has authority when that Declarant’s rights are either terminated or expire. While some statutes require some declarant rights to expire, generally declarant rights continue until the end of their own set terms or are terminated by the Declarant. 

PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Real Estate Needs

At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Condominium Law attorneys understand Rhode Island condo law and will work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. If you believe that a condo unit owner has committed a nuisance, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!