A condominium describes a form of housing tenure.
It is the legal term used in the USA and Canada for a type of joint ownership of real property in which portions of the property are commonly owned and other portions are individually owned. Often, it consists of units in a multi-unit dwelling (i.e., an apartment or a development) where the unit is individually owned and the common areas like hallways and recreational facilities are jointly owned by all the other unit owners in the building. It is possible, however, for condominiums to consist of single family dwellings. An association consisting of all the members manage the common areas usually through a board of directors elected by the members. The same concept is also used in other countries with different names, such as "unit title", "commonhold" or tenant-owner's association. Another variation of this concept is the "time share". Condominiums may be found in both civil law and common law legal systems as it is purely a creation of statute.
An alternative form of ownership popular in the United States in common law jurisdictions is the "cooperative" corporation, also known as "company share", in which the building has an associated legal company and ownership of shares gives the right to a lease for residence of a unit. Another form is leasehold or ground rent in which a single landlord retains ownership of the land on which the building is constructed in which the lease renews in perpetuity or over a very long term such as in a civil law emphyteutic lease. Another form of civil law joint property ownership is undivided co-ownership where the owners own a percentage of the entire property but have exclusive possession of a specific part of the property and joint possession of other parts of the property; distinguished from joint tenancy with right of survivorship or a tenancy in common of common law.
A condominium is also a form of co-rule of a state recognised in international law