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Condominium and Cooperative Law in Alabama

Condominiums and cooperatives are types of "common interest" communities.

They are communities where each individual or family resident rents or owns a unit which is part of a larger building, containing other, similar, residential units. The residents are responsible responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of their living areas, such as gardens, walkways, lawns, and swimming pools. They typically meet this responsibility by paying a monthly fee to support this maintenance.

If you simply look at one of these communities, you won't be able to tell whether it's a cooperative or a condominium community.

There are no physical features unique to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that regulates the relationships between the residents and managers. In condominium communities, the residents own the units they live in, and collectively own the land and buildings in which they are located. In a cooperative community, the units are rented, and are owned by a single entity.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Vestavia Hills, Alabama likely has several laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. However, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.

In general, the policies of the landowner or management board will have a much greater impact on the daily lives and conduct of residents than any state or local laws governing condominiums or cooperatives.

The land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have substantial leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules usually govern things like noise levels, cleanliness, long-term guests, and pets. They are often designed with the goal of balancing residents' rights to a clean and quiet neighborhood, with their individual autonomy.

The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, any rule which would exclude residents based on their race is completely unenforceable. Such discrimination is clearly prohibited under federal law, private property rights notwithstanding.

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