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My wife and I just bought a condo in Washington DC. In DC, it is very common for a developer to buy a row home, gut it, and turn it into a 2 or 3 unit condo, and that's what we bought. Our building has just 2 units.

As we are just getting started, we were advised that our next steps are to

  • Create a non-profit organization
  • Get a tax ID for that non-profit
  • Open a bank account for the non-profit using the tax ID

Now, for whatever reason, my wife has decided she doesn't really like the official name of the condo association that's listed on our condo declaration and by-laws. She agrees that if it's too difficult to change, she'll live with it, but if it's easy, why not change it? So I'm trying to find out how hard it is, exactly, to change the name.

Most of the things I've found online about changing the name or changing the by-laws (since that's essentially what we'd have to do) say "it's hard", but seem to imply that the reason it's hard is that you'd have to convince numerous other unit owners to agree to the change, then get them to a condo association meeting to vote on it, which is like herding cats. I can understand that for developments with many units, that would be hard, but we have only two units, so it seems trivial. We've met our neighbors, they're very nice, I doubt they'd even care about the condo association name, and convening a condo association meeting is as simple as me texting them "what nights are you free next week?"

What I can't find any information on is what else would we have to do?

  • Obviously we'd have to change the declaration and by-laws. How hard is that process? Do we need a notary? Do we need some type of lawyer?
  • Once the declaration and by-laws are changed, my understanding is that we would have to re-file them with the city. What's that process like? Is there a fee? Do we need a lawyer involved in that step also?
  • Do we really need to change the declaration and by-laws? What if we just created the non-profit organization (and bank account) with the name that we want? Do we have to create it using the name in the declaration? What are the legal implications of creating a non-profit that is supposed to be a condo association using a different name than what's in the declaration?

Any insight into this process in general would be welcome. DC specifics highly desired.

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