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What Is a Master Deed?

Leigia Rosales
Updated May 16, 2024
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Embarking on the transformation of land into a condominium complex is a meticulous legal process. A pivotal step involves drafting a master deed—a document that meticulously delineates each unit and common area within the development.

According to the Community Associations Institute, over 28% of the U.S. population resides in community association-regulated housing, underscoring the significance of master deeds. This deed, which must be recorded with local authorities, not only maps out the property's division but also details any usage restrictions, ensuring prospective owners understand their rights and responsibilities.

A condominium development is a building that has a number of individual sub-units within the building which are individually owned. The common areas, along with the major systems such as heat and air, are jointly owned by the owners of the individual units. Although each individual owner of a unit will receive a property deed for his or her unit, a master deed must be filed for the overall development before the first individual unit is sold as a rule.

Much like any other deed, a master deed will describe the property by both legal description and the commonly known address. Unlike other deeds, however, this deed will then explain how the property is to be divided into individual units. For example, if the project has 100 separate units then the master deed will reflect that.

Along with designating how many separate units the condominium project will have, the master deed also indicates where the common areas will be and legally grants ownership of those areas to the individual owners. Common areas usually include walkways, hallways, parking lots, as well as grassy areas, laundry facilities, and pool areas. These areas are usually maintained by the condominium association, which is made up of all the individual owners. In addition, major systems such as heating and cooling are the responsibility of the condominium association. In most cases, the individual owners must pay a monthly fee for maintenance and upkeep of the common areas.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Leigia Rosales
By Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers. Her ability to understand complex topics and communicate them effectively makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales
Leigia Rosales is a former attorney turned freelance writer. With a law degree and a background in legal practice, she...
Learn more
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