What Is Landominium?

Landominium refers to a unit, built as part of a residential development, whose owner owns both the unit and the land on which it is built. It is a portmanteau of "land" and "condominium."

Key Takeaways

  • Landominium is play on the words "land" and "condominium"
  • In a landominium arrangement, the developer owns both the land and the multi-unit structure to be built on top of it.
  • Common areas in landominium complexes are maintained through homeowners' association fees and may include both indoor and outdoor shared spaces.

Understanding Landominiums

Landominium derives its name from condominium, which became a popular term in the 1960s to describe a privately owned unit in an apartment building. Outside of the condominiums are shared areas open to all condo owners—a lobby, garage, or swimming pool. The land on which the building stands is typically owned by a developer. This is not to be confused with the co-operative model that is common in New York City, in which members own shares in a building and pay to lease a specific unit.

A landominium complex expands upon the condominium model by bundling the living unit with the land on which it is built. Homeowners receive the added benefit of services provided by a homeowners association (HOA): a property manager cares for shared spaces such as a clubhouse or recreation center. The manager can also assume responsibilities that would be handled by the municipality in traditional neighborhoods, such as snow or garbage removal. Some developers cover homeowners insurance for landominium purchasers.

Landominium complexes also tend to include a classification of common area that is generally not found in condominium complexes: the limited common area. An example of this type of area might include a parking zone or swimming pool intended for use by one cluster of units but not the general ownership.

Special Considerations

Any sale of a landominium where they buyer will be subject to membership in the HOA must involve disclosure of important details from the association. These generally include any covenants or restrictions imposed by the HOA, a financial statement, and any plans for physical improvements by the HOA. A potential landominium buyer would be wise to confirm that the association has sufficient financial reserves to cover its internal and external obligations over the short- to medium-term. Requirements vary by jurisdiction, but these documents are often referred to as the resale package. In most places, a buyer has 15 days to back out of a sale after receiving the resale package.

Landominiums as Retirement Communities

The landominium model has proven particularly well-suited for older homebuyers. These individuals tend to be looking for smaller, low-maintenance homes. Landominiums often meet those needs, with features like one-story construction and in-house medical staff. As land-use planning has developed, planned unit developments (PUDs) have become more common. These comprehensive community designs commonly incorporate retirement-living landominium complexes alongside centralized shopping and traditional single-family home construction.

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