You must have heard of the term “common area” somewhere. In very simple words, this term is used for the property owned by every resident staying in that building.
In any apartment, the common area is the place in the apartment that is accessible to everyone. The common area comprises swimming pools, parking areas, community halls, and much more! Anyone staying in the apartments can jointly access the common area and use it.
People staying in the apartments can go to these common areas and use them without paying any extra charges. Here is everything about what is common area in apartments, common rooms in an apartment, the maintenance, types, and much more!
What is Exactly the Common Area in the Apartments?
When it comes to identifying the common areas, there are a lot of them—the lifts or elevators in the apartments, stairs, swimming pool, roof of the apartment, garden area, entrance of that building, and exit area of that building. Apart from all of these, the playing grounds are also a part of common areas.
What are the Different Types of Common Areas?
In general, an apartment has two different categories of common areas.
- Commercial Real Estate Common Area
Commercial real estate common areas in any apartment are accessed by everyone who stays in that apartment. People who reside in that apartment are the only ones who have to pay the amount for the maintenance of those common areas.
Sometimes, the balconies in some apartments are also considered a part of the common area because of the specific design and the structure of the balcony.
Some other parts also fall under the commercial real estate common area, such as any laundry rooms of an apartment, storage areas, lounges, and much more. And all of these are easily accessible to everyone.
- Residential Real Estate Common Area
Residential real estate common areas in any apartment are the ones that are "exclusive use common areas"—for example, a balcony of any apartment that comes under personal property.
People who inherit the property that falls under residential real estate common area are accountable for the maintenance of the property. Any repairs or restorations are done by them only.
How Should One Locate the Common Area?
When it comes to locating the common areas in an apartment, that is so simple. There will be stairs, lifts, elevators, fire escapes, loobies, and entrance and exit areas—all considered common areas.
The roof of the building, playing grounds, basements, storage, and parking, are also considered to be the common areas.
What are the Things to Know About the Common Areas?
There are specific crucial points that one should be aware of if they are planning to move into an apartment or they are already residing in an apartment.
One should look for reviews about the rules regarding the common areas. There are a few specific rules to be followed by every one who resides in the apartments. Rules can vary from one apartment to the other apartment! There are also a lot of restrictions for the people who are staying in the apartments. Therefore, these things are very crucial to know beforehand.
After knowing these things and analyzing these, one can see whether they want to reside in that specific building or not.
Does One Have to Pay for Using the Amenities of Common Areas?
One of the most crucial questions that everyone is concerned about is whether they have to pay the amount for using the amenities of the common area or if they can use it after having permission. As stated above, the rules can vary from one apartment to the other. And so, to use the amenities of any apartment, one has to check whether they need to pay for it or not!
There will be some apartments that are going to charge a certain amount to let people use it for their amenities. There will also be some apartments that will not be charging any extra charges for this.
What are the Rights of Residents in Common Areas in an Apartment?
Owned by Every Resident
Common areas are never considered personal property, and no residents can treat it like their solely acquired place! That is for the use of everyone residing in that specific building. And it can be used by everyone equally.
One Can Seek for Partition
If there is any resident who wishes to have a partition of the common area for their parts, then they can go forward with this. However, before having this benefit, they have to ask permission from the higher authorities and every resident residing in that building.
One Can Release Their Share
If someone doesn’t want their share of the property anymore or if that person cannot continue their share, they can release it to the co-owners. The same applies when the property owner dies, the share is automatically released to the co-owners.
Is Bathroom Considered to be a Common Area?
Bathrooms can be considered a common area, but it totally depends on the structure of that building. In some apartments, the structure is such that the bathrooms are shared among the residents and not only by a single resident. Whereas the structures of a few buildings are such that the bathrooms can never be shared among the residents.
There are some cases when one has to stay with their roommates in an apartment. At that point, the bathroom is a common room, the part of maintenance is divided among everyone, and everyone is responsible for it.
What are the Responsibilities of a Resident for the Common Areas?
Apart from the rights, there are specific responsibilities towards the common areas. And this is to be followed by every resident of the apartment.
Maintenance of the Common Area
The builder of the building is the one who is responsible for maintaining the building. It is only until the time there is no association of allottees. After that, it is not the responsibility of the builder.
In any building, the people living inside the building are responsible for maintaining the common rooms.
Controlling the Common Entrances
The entrance and exit parts of any building also fall under the common rooms. And the residents are the ones who are equally responsible for controlling and maintaining it apart from the higher authorities.
So, when it comes to what is common area in apartments, it is a space inherited by every individual in that building. However, they must pay a specific amount for maintenance and upkeep. People staying in the apartment can also use those common areas for personal use after asking for permission from the higher authorities. There can be chances that they have to pay to gain that benefit.
Before moving into any apartment, individuals should read and know every rule regarding the common areas, and then they should proceed further. There can be certain times when those rules will not suit them. Hence, knowing them beforehand is a great option.
Who is the one to be responsible for the maintenance of the common area?
Everyone who is living in the apartment and has ever used the common area of the apartment is responsible for the maintenance of the common area.
Can someone inherit the common areas in an apartment?
Yes! If someone wishes to inherit the common area of an apartment, then there are specific procedures to do. And after that, they will be inheriting that area.
Even without using the common area, is it necessary to pay for the maintenance of the common room?
Even when someone is not using the apartment's common area, they have to pay for its maintenance! It is seen as a mandatory element while staying in an apartment.
Can someone use the common area of the apartment for their personal use?
No! In most apartments, one can not use the common room for personal use. It is seen as a disturbance and invasion.
Do stairs come under the common area of an apartment?
Yes! In any apartment, the stairs are part of the common area, and everyone is eligible to use them. And even everyone is responsible for the maintenance of the stairs.
Can a common area be converted into an official space?
No! Any common space of the apartments can never be shifted to any official space.