The property interests of condo unit owners are typically defined in the Master Deed. If legal disputes arise regarding the residents’ usage of the common areas, facilities, or parking garages of their building, the Master Deed may determine the rights of the respective parties, as in a May 14, 2018 Massachusetts real estate case. The case involved a dispute among condominium owners over parking rights.
The plaintiffs in the case owned Unit One in a residential condominium containing three units. The plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Massachusetts Land Court, seeking a declaration that they have rights to the exclusive use of two and one-half parking spaces within the condominium’s common area. The defendants owned Unit Two in the condominium. The defendants argued that, in accordance with the original Master Deed and Unit deeds, each unit has the right to the exclusive use of only one parking space.
In determining the rights of the parties, the land court reviewed real estate documents, including the Master Deed. The Master Deed provided that each unit in the condominium shall have an appurtenant right to the exclusive use of one parking space to be either assigned to each unit by written designation in the initial Unit Deed for each unit, or if not assigned in the initial Unit Deed, to be assigned by the Condominium Trust. However, none of the initial deeds in the condominium actually included an assignment of a parking space.