Can I put on an addition to my condo?
November 3, 2005 10:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm moving into a small condo and am wondering about the possibility of someday adding an extra room to my unit. According to Minnesota real estate law, am I allowed to add a room to an existing building as a condo owner? My real estate agent didn't seem to think so, but I'm looking for more clarification. Thank you.
posted by Ailla to Law & Government (8 answers total)
IANAL. But see Minnesota Condominium Act. You may be able to modify the existing floorplan so long as it does not conflict with Section 515.08. It is unlikey you will be able to make any external additions.

Pertinent Parts:
515.08 Certain Work Prohibited: " No apartment owner shall do any work which would jeopardize the soundness or safety of the property, reduce the value thereof or impair any easement or hereditament without in every such case the unanimous consent of all the other apartment owners being first obtained."
posted by fourstar at 11:19 PM on November 3, 2005

Someone explained to me that when you "own" a condo, you really own the space inside it, and NOT the actual structure. So, it makes sense that you would not just be able to add a room all willy-nilly like.
posted by clh at 11:31 PM on November 3, 2005

One good way to find out is to talk to members of your strate council (off the record). You can find out if that sort of thing has ever been approved. Your strata bylaws may also provide a clue. Even if your city/state says it's legal to add another room, your strata has the final word.

CLH, you own the space inside the outside walls of your unit. You can usually modify the inner space, so long as you don't take out weight-bearing walls or what-not.

You also technically own your outer walls, but only as a fraction and not in any way that allows you to do something to those.
posted by acoutu at 11:51 PM on November 3, 2005

My guess is that it'd end up being more trouble than it's worth... but it's hard to say. (Certainly, all kinds of things were done to Philly row houses, so it kinda depends on the structure you have to work with.)

You'd probably also have to talk to your home owner's association and work all that out before you did too much.
posted by ph00dz at 5:34 AM on November 4, 2005

Carefully read the condominium bylaws and then consult the condominium association. If there's any question, and you really want to go ahead, talk to a lawyer first.
posted by Scooter at 11:29 AM on November 4, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the help. I live in a 4-plex and it's a self-managed (small) condo association. I'm not sure if that makes a difference but I will look into the bylaws and go from there...
posted by Ailla at 9:52 PM on November 4, 2005

Lots of buildings in New York have patios converted into penthouses, but most of those are co-ops. Sounds like you want to expand into a common area (the yard), though, which would require the approval of a majority (at least) of the members.
posted by dhartung at 12:56 AM on November 5, 2005

Response by poster: There is the possibility to convert my side of the patio (which comes right off of the kitchen door) into a room. Would the patio on my side of the property be considered common area?
posted by Ailla at 6:31 AM on November 6, 2005

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