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Condominium and Cooperative Law in California

Condominiums and cooperatives are forms 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 accountable 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.

Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you discern whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.

This is due to the fact that there are no visual or physical characteristics that can distinguish one from the other. All the differences between them lie in the ownership arrangements that the residents have. With a condominium, the residents typically own their housing unit, and collectively own the land on which it sits. In a cooperative, the residents rent the units, and the land is owned by a single entity, either a corporation or other type of business association.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Fresno, California

Fresno, California likely has various laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. Nonetheless, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.

In general, the procedures 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 controlling condominiums or cooperatives.

The land that common interest communities occupy is typically private property. Therefore, the owners of the property are free to make certain rules governing what is and isn't allowed on it. A good manager or owner will typically make every effort to strike a balance between residents' freedom to do what they want in their homes, and the rights of their neighbors to a safe, clean, and reasonably quiet living space.

Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Fresno, California, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be legitimate. There are likely some others, as well.

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Life in Fresno

Fresno is the seat of Fresno County, California and home to over 500,000 residents. As the largest city in the San Joaquin Valley, the Fresno Metropolitan area plays host to 1.2 million. Fresno is Spanish for ash tree. The ash tree's leaf is even featured on the City of Fresno flag. Many locals are work on large scale agricultural farms that produce many fruits and nuts distributed throughout the world. Community Medical Centers, the City of Fresno, Kaiser Permanente, and the Saint Agnes Medical Center are other major employers. Another major employer and attraction to Fresno is California State University, Fresno.


Fresno is host to a number of important Courts. The United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of California is located downtown and handles a number of Federal cases like Immigration issues. The Fresno County Court is responsible for many of the cases that arise in Fresno including Criminal cases like assault and DUI as well as Civil cases like personal injury. The Fifth Appellate District of the State of California Court of Appeals handles any criminal appeals. The San Joaquin College of Law is one of the local law schools serving potential Fresno lawyers.

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