Expert help saves trouble when converting to condo


August 22, 1999

Dear Mr. Azrael:

My wife and I recently completed renovation of a property in the Fells Point area. The property as it stands is zoned mixed use and consists of two residential spaces and one commercial space. We are living in one space and renting the others.

What is the process to convert to condominium? Where can we find information defining the process, and could we do this ourselves for minimal cost?

T. Bruce Faulstich Baltimore,

Dear Mr. Faulstich:

You can convert your mixed-use (residential and commercial) building to condominium units. A condo regime is created by recording among the land records of the county where the property is located, a declaration, bylaws and condominium plat that comply with requirements specified in the Maryland Condominium Act.

The act allows the tenant of a residential dwelling unit to remain in the unit for 180 days after written notice, or longer for certain people who are at least 62 years old or are "handicapped citizens." A residential tenant also has the right to purchase the unit or receive up to $750 compensation for moving expenses.

The act establishes requirements for the contents of the condominium declaration and bylaws. The law also specifies the particulars that must be shown on the condominium plat.

The condominium developer also must prepare a public offering statement, giving detailed information about the sale and operation of the condominium. The public offering statement must be registered with and approved by the secretary of state before units can be sold to the public.

Could you create a condominium yourself? Possibly.

But you would avoid costly delays and errors if you hired a civil engineer and attorney, experienced in condominium documentation and platting, to assist in making sure you complied with all of the legal requirements.


The Sun invites you to send real estate questions to Mailbag. Questions are answered by Jonathan A. Azrael of Azrael, Gann and Franz of Towson.

Questions -- including name, address and daytime telephone number -- may be sent in the following ways:

Mailing address: Real Estate Mailbag, Fifth Floor, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001. Fax: 410-783-2517. E-mail:

Call our Sundial audio-response number, 410-783-1800. Enter code 6170.

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