Madison, Other/Just Looking in PDX

Question regarding condo ownership changes, and common areas and rules etc.

Asked by Madison, PDX Tue May 5, 2009

We are the current sole owner of 2 condos, one on top of the other. We decided financially that it makes sense to sell the bottom condo. Because its just been us, our HOA has also just been us for the last 2 years. We know when selling it needs to be intact and the CC&RS etc. What changes are we able to keep by law that were done to common areas after we owned both units. Are we required to put it back, change the CC&RS? Or can we sell it as is, since we own the place? For example, we closed off an entry to the second unit from the back because it went right into our stairwell access and we wanted the privacy. Can we change any rules while we are still the HOA so that they will need to vote on them, once they join? Can we do this without an attorney?

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Grace Morioka, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue May 5, 2009
Hello Madison and thanks for your question/post.

So, let me make certain that I have all of the facts. You are the owner of a 2 unit condominium homeowners association, where you were the sole owner for many years. During that time, you've made changes to the lower condominium that might affect the common areas as well as the map and plan of the condominium.
I hope this is all correct.

Okay, first, you do not need to change your CC&Rs prior to selling the home unless there are rules within the CC&Rs that you would NOT like to pass along to the new owner. As the sole owner of the homeowners association, you can make these changes now without the intervention of another (possibly) dissenting owner. So, as to your question about changing the CC&Rs, you certainly can do this as the only owner of both units in the HOA.

Second, regarding the changes that you've made to the condominium unit, provided that such changes do not violate the building codes within the City where you live, file a formal architectural application to remove the second exit from the lower unit. I suspect that the City may require you to reinstall the second exit in the lower unit for safety purposes--usually a building is required to have at least two pedestrian exits, so check with the City first.

I hope that this answers some of your questions. Good luck and happy selling!!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Agent, Facilitator and HOA Expert
Area Pro Realty
Co-Author, "Homeowners Associations: A Guide to Leadership"
3 votes
Dirk Knudsen, Agent, Hillsboro, OR
Tue May 5, 2009
Make a list of all the changes you made without HOA approval. Get approval or put them back as you would be subject to a law suit later by your buyer you sell to or the HOA. Simple really.


Dirk Knudsen
Re/Max Hall of Fame
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Jean Pritcha…, , Portland, OR
Tue May 5, 2009

When you read your CC&R's, does it address fences, I was on the board of a large condo complex for 7 years and chairperson for 2 of those years. There can be a definate difference in CC&R's and maintenance and upkeep issues of a condo. This may not be an issue, or it could possibly be handled with a vote of the current owers. I'd really like to read your CC&R's and talk to you about this. Call me at 503-680-4449, or e-mail me at and let's discuss this issue more fully with you.

Jean Pritchard
Amerivest Realty of Portland
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