TAKING possession of a new condominium unit is an exciting moment for any homeowner, but there are a number of conditions that one should be aware of, developer Amaia Land said.
Offering some guidance for new unit owners, Amaia Land answered some common questions new condominium owners ask, and pointed out several issues that need to be resolved.
In terms of when a unit can be turned over to a new owner, Amaia said, “This will depend on several factors. However, brokers, especially in-house agents, usually discuss the estimated turnover of units with clients,” during the sale process. “The schedule varies, but it can be anywhere from the first to the 24th month upon full payment of the unit,” it added.
The condominium association or the developer, if the association has not been formed yet, will schedule the turnover if the owner has met all documentary requirements, and the contract price is fully paid, including interest and any penalties, Amaia explained.
Amaia added that the owner will be informed, either in person or by courier, when the unit is available for turnover.
Amaia said that in some cases, early turnover of a unit is possible, but is subject to additional criteria and management approval on a case-by-case basis.
In answer to a frequently asked question by condo buyers, whether it is possible to inspect a unit before turnover, Amaia said, “Inspection of the unit usually occurs together with the turnover. A reputable real estate developer will correct or rectify whatever the outcomes of the inspection will be,” if there are defects found.
Amaia added that the developer’s customer relations officer would coordinate with the buyer for a new turnover schedule in case repairs have to be made, and that turnover would be subject to the customer’s satisfaction—indicated by a unit acceptance form—that any problems have been corrected.
After accepting the unit, the owner will then become a member of the condominium association, which will issue the notification of occupancy authorizing the owner to move into the condo unit.
Amaia also explained that at this point in the process, the CCT (condominium certificate of title) and tax declaration under the buyer’s name should be available and delivered to the owner. Several condo owners in different developers’ projects, however, said that delivery time of the property documents can vary quite significantly, with some receiving the paperwork right away and others waiting several months or even years.
Finally, Amaia stressed the importance of being aware of the monthly dues for the condo association, which are used to pay for maintenance of common areas, building security, and other costs for the benefit of all the residents. Monthly dues in Amaia properties usually range from P90 to P100 per square meter; a check of a few other developers’ properties showed that dues costs—which are almost always calculated on the same per-square meter basis—can range from as low as P50 to as high as P140 per square meter. Depending on the size of the unit, this can add a considerable additional monthly expense that the owner will need to cover.