Definition of "Master deed"

Belinda Agosto real estate agent
Belinda Agosto, Real Estate Agent Premier Sotheby's International Realty

The term master deed is a deed filed by a condominium developer or converter to record all of the individual condominium units owned within a condominium development. For example, a condominium developer secured a piece of property for the purpose of developing a condominium complex. The developer then recorded a master deed showing the individual condominium units within the complex. The master deed also includes restrictions and covenants that are imposed on the individual unit owners.

The owner or developer must prepare the master deed before it is recorded with the responsible authorities (i.e. government office from the area’s jurisdiction). With the master deed, the developer has to portray how the individual units are divided and where the proposed development’s common areas are located. Like that the appropriate authorities become aware of what is considered an individual unit and what is a common area within the condominium. The master deed is also where the restrictions regarding the use of the property are specified.

What is a Master Deed in Real Estate?

Similar to other deeds, a master deed describes the property through both its legal definition and the address. However, contrary to other deeds, a master deed explains and underlines how the developer divided the property into individual units. Furthermore, on a master deed, it is specified where the common areas can be found within the development, condominium, or townhouse while also giving legal ownership of those areas to the individual unit owners. By common areas, we can understand grassy areas, parking lots, walkways, hallways, but also facilities like laundry rooms, pools, etc. The maintenance of these common areas falls under the responsibility of the condominium association that includes all the unit owners. The same happens with major systems like cooling and heating. These responsibilities often come in the form of monthly fees that cover maintenance and upkeep.


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Comments for Master Deed

Frandisco Eizmendi Frandisco Eizmendi said:

How can I see Master Deed of a Townhouse Development?

Jul 08, 2021  10:09:29

Real Estate Agent

Hey Frandisco! Thank you for reaching out to us. While the master deed may not be the document most homeowners pay attention to when purchasing a condo or unit, it is the most important. What you have to be aware of is that while the master deed of the entire development should be made available to owners for examination, there is also the master deed of each individual unit that you should have received at the closing of the purchase. In case this did not happen, you have every right to request it from the HOA or the developer. In case they can not provide it for you the Town Hall should have a copy as it is a legal document. The tax assessor should also be able to help as they must have a copy of it. Hope this helps and best of luck!

Jul 08, 2021  12:02:13
Smith Smith said:

What is master deed

Mar 06, 2020  06:06:20

Real Estate Agent

Hello Smith! The master deed is also known as the condominium declaration or the declaration of condominium. This document is used by condominium developers to record projects and set what is considered part of the unit and what is “common area”. Also, the master deed includes a list of “rights and obligations” for the unit owners as well as a master floor plan.

Mar 31, 2020  12:51:43
Connie Connie said:

Does a Condo Master Deed have to be recognized by a municipality?

Apr 08, 2019  01:14:19

Real Estate Agent

Hi, Connie! Yes, the master deed must be recorded with the local registry of deeds. It's the only way to tell authorities what is considered common area and what is part of a unit or condo. Keep in mind that condos are also subject to property taxes later, so the assessor and the appraiser will need to know the gross living area of each condo in order to make the right calculations. 

Apr 09, 2019  06:39:53

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