Condominium and Cooperative Law in Alabama
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.
Just looking at the outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.
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 Birmingham, Alabama
There are numerous laws in Birmingham, Alabama that might be applicable to common interest communities. But most of these laws are not unique to common-interest communities. Rather, they usually concern zoning, land use, and contract law, which are applicable to most other types of real estate, as well.
Usually, the rules established by the owner of the property, or the entity tasked with managing it, are going to have much more of a day-to-day effect on your life than any state laws governing these types of communities.
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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Birmingham, 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.
Can a Birmingham, Alabama Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Birmingham, Alabama, a reliable real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.