Can I sell my storage unit to another HOA homeowner?

Check your HOA's governing documents -- in most communities, storage units either cannot be separated from the property or aren't the homeowner's to sell in the first place.

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Question

I live in a planned development and don’t use the basement storage unit that came with my condominium. Lots of people in the development want another storage unit -- can I sell mine?

Answer

Probably not. The only way you would be able to sell your storage unit is if it is individually owned property, separable from your condominium unit, and if your development allows such sales.

In most condominium developments, storage units are either common areas (which cannot be sold), or included as part of the condominium units themselves (and not separately saleable).

The only way to know for sure what type of property your storage unit is, and whether you can sell it, is to study your development’s governing documents; particularly the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Easements (CC&Rs), the Condominium Map, and any other relevant rules and regulations.

First, look at the description of the storage units on the Condominium Map and the CC&Rs. You must determine whether the storage areas are described as part of specific condominium units, common areas, or separate, individually owned property.

  • If your storage unit is a common area (as is usually the case), you cannot sell it. Since common areas are owned in common with all the other homeowners in the development, it is not yours to sell.
  • You probably also cannot sell the storage area if it is included in the description of your condominium unit. To know for sure, you must hire an experienced attorney in your area to review the applicable law and your development’s regulations. Even if there are no legal prohibitions against the separation and sale of your storage unit, however, separating the property is a complex process. Obtaining new legal descriptions will probably require an amendment to the Condominium Map, and possibly even the CC&Rs. These are detailed and difficult procedures, not likely worth your time, trouble, and expense.
  • If the storage unit is already a separately described property that you individually own, you might be allowed to sell it. Your rights to sell it however, depend on what the CC&Rs or any other rules and regulations say about the matter.

You can request a copy of your development’s Condominium Map and CC&Rs from your homeowners’ association (HOA). Also ask an HOA representative’s opinion on whether or not you can sell your storage unit. A knowledgeable representative might have some insight into or previous experience with the matter, and might also assist by directing you to any relevant provisions in the Map and governing documents.

An experienced attorney in your area can help confirm whether you own the storage area outright, and if so, whether you can sell it. If selling is an option, an attorney can also help you complete the documents necessary to make a sale (such as a deed). As you can see, a firm answer to your question requires further investigation. So, if you think it’s worth it, spend some time with your development’s governing documents -- and good luck!

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