Condo bylaws in Costa Rica are generally written in Spanish, so it’s best to know what the terms in your reglamento de condominio mean in English. From commons areas to parking, or unique circumstances that require reserve funds and special assessments, there’s a lot to learn here.
Even if your development caters to foreign buyers and prints its C.C. bylaws and rules in English, French, or German, your condo administrator or neighbors might only speak Spanish.
Spanish to English
The terms you’ll see translated below will show up throughout your Costa Rica C.C. Bylaws and Rules (Reglamento de Condominio). Just knowing these simple condominium terms en Espanol will allow you to better communicate your needs or issues to any and all.
This literal translation of Condominium in Spanish. While it may seem obvious, the word dictates the type of property you own. This designation is important, as all condos are governed by an Asociacion de Condominos (HOA).
Condominio de Apartamento
This is a specific designation that signifies the property is specifically a Condominium Apartment.
Casa en Condominio
Another specific designation that signifies the property is a House in Condominium, or in plain English, that’s a Townhouse governed by an HOA
Asociacion de Condominos
While this simply translates as Condominium Association, it is a reference to the Home Owner Association (HOA) in English.
Cuota de Administracion
This also is a simple translation of the Administration Fee, which is in reference to the HOA Fees for your condo. It can also be referred to as the Cuota de Mantenimiento (Maintenance Fee), or the Cuota de Condominio (Condominium Fee).
Reglamento de Condominio
This is in reference to the Condominium Regulations or Bylaws and Rules of the specific condominium corporation that governs your building.
Reunion de Condominos
The Condominium Meetings will be in reference to your how your HOA Meeting are governed, and how you can participate.
Administrador del Condominio
The Condominium Administrator is in reference to your Condo Management, the ones you run the day-to-day operations.
Fondo de Reserva
This is an exact translation of your condo’s Reserve Fund, where a specific amount of money is put aside from each unit to cover major renovations or repairs.
The Extraordinary Fee is a reference to a Special Assessment that might be levied on top of your condo fees. Generally, this refers to your owed share for unique circumstances such as an installation of new sewer/drinking lines, streets being paved, etc.
Guarda de Seguridad
A perfect translation of Security Guard in English, where the terms of your condo building’s security patrol will be detailed.
Caseta de Seguridad
Another perfect translation for Guardhouse in English, and in reference to a specific building/area where stationary security guards will be posted.
Anything related to your Parking area, spots, and your rights or fees regarding them.
A reference to the Common Areas in your building that can be used by all tenants.
Things related to Swimming Pool access should be found under this heading.
Cancha de Tenis
If you’re lucky enough to have a Tennis Court on the premise, the rules of fair use will be outlined here.
English to Espanol
Below are the same terms mentioned above in an easier-to-read format. Clicking on any link will take you to their more lengthy explanations.
- Condo = Condominio
- Condo Apartment = Condominio de Apartamento
- Townhouse = Casa en Condominio
- Home Owner Association = Asociacion de Condominos
- HOA Fee = Cuota de Administración/Mantenimiento/Condominio
- C.C. Bylaws and Rules = Reglamento de Condominio
- HOA Meeting = Reunion de Condominos
- Condo Management = Administrador del Condominio
- Reserve Fund = Fondo de Reserva
- Special Assessment = Cuota Extraordinaria
- Security Guard = Guarda de Seguridad
- Guard House = Caseta de Seguridad
- Parking = Parqueo
- Common Areas = Areas Comunes
- Pool = Piscina
- Tennis Courts = Cancha de Tenis
Depending on where you purchase your condo, your HOA meetings and discussions might only be held in Spanish. You will, however, be allowed to bring a translator with you. Since they will be speaking in your name, it’s best to do a few test runs prior to your meeting to make sure they can accurately convey your thoughts. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, do know that your rights and obligations will be the same as everyone else’s. It’s just will be easier if you already know what these general terms are.