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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 17
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We just had a friend visiting us and they're looking to buy a condo north of the bridge. They fell in love with Belize A/C and want to move here in the fall. A local said they can purchase the condo they were looking at and until they receive title they do not have to pay maintenance fees per BZ Law.

Does anybody know or can someone tell us if this is true? Is there any statute or law stating this.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,052
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Nah, that is totally bogus.

That is not a law.


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 609
T
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T
Sounds like a mess ,run like hell !

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
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Wait....what condo north of the bridge?...apprehensive minds are curious.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
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That may not be the law in Belize (assume Amanda Syme as a real estate agent would know), and maybe we're picking nits here about when you receive title documents versus when you take ownership, but it is the rule in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world, that you are not officially an owner until you get legal title (typically at closing) and therefore do not pay maintenance fees, common charges and assessments, real estate property taxes or for that matter mortgage payments until after you have legal title.

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 168
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We just bought a condo on the North end and as we was explained to us about fees if the title isn't clear goes like this. The total figure will be assist when the title is clear and therefore due when title is handed over. If it's in the same condo as I bought that is how all of the titles are going to be brought up to date with outstanding HOC fees.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,052
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Most condos won't assess maintenance fees on the units until POSSESSION. Whether or not you have title, if you are living or using your unit, the grounds, the pool etc then typically maintenance fees are levied. If you are granted possession of the unit, even if you don't use it you are levied fees. If your unit is under construction and you don't have possession you probably won't have maintenance fees.

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 71
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G
Mmm, let me guess, condos on the west side of the road going north.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
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Perhaps they are buying from a current owner not the developer and the owner offers to pay the fees until they can provide a clear title.


Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,267
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Another scenario that may be helpful ----

Strata Title is issued after the project is sufficiently complete that the buildings themselves can be surveyed and a survey/legal description can be made for each unit. In many cases a portion of the development is completed and occupied long before the Strata survey can be done. In such a case the occupant has possession, but not "title" since the "Strata" title is not yet on file, and therefore cannot be turned over. The buyer is protected by an agreement for sale that typically states that Strata will be completed as soon as feasible.

Until there is a Strata plan in place, there can be no "official" (registered) Homeowner's Association, and therefore no "official" HOA fees (because there is no HOA). This does not preclude the development team from charging a fair-share of grounds-operations costs to the occupants.

If you buy very early in the development, perhaps the developer takes on all costs for keeping up the grounds for a time due to the mess of construction, and the fact that it's hard to tell what is "residential upkeep" and what is mostly attributable to sales and construction.
Later as the project comes closer to completion, there may be significant portions of the grounds that are truly done - a pool and gardens perhaps. There may be a water-maker supplying units with potable water, a cable tv subscription or wi-fi .... etc --- it is not uncommon for a fair-share of costs to be assessed to the unit occupants for the services they are receiving. This is technically not a HOA fee, but it serves a similar purpose.

Until there is a strata title, there is only a property-tax bill on the land that sits under the project. It is common for the buyers of a condo unit to pay a fair-share of that tax bill, pro-rated from the date of possession/closing. After the issuance of a separate Strata title, the owner of record will then be responsible for only the taxes on their particular unit. In most cases the strata tax bill will be considerably higher than the one on land-only that preceded Strata.

********

It can be confusing to compare Belize Strata title with the US condo legislations. In fact, condo law varies a lot from state to state, and a Californian buying in New York may face a learning curve similar to a Texan buying in Belize.

Read the purchase agreement, read the CC & Rs - in Belize these documents tend to be written in language that a layman can easily understand. Most of the questions/answers you have about the condo you buy will be outlined and addressed in these documents.


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