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Condominium and Cooperative Law in California

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 normally 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 know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.

The basic difference is that, in condominium communities, the units are purchased and owned by their residents, and they also collectively own the common areas of the development. In a cooperative community, the land and buildings in which the housing units are owned by a single corporation or association. The individual units are rented by the residents, not purchased.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in California, California

Several California, California laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.

Typically, 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 owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a considerable number of regulations concerning what can be done in and around the housing units. These rules will likely concern cleanliness, noise, and policies governing the presence of pets and long-term guests.

Some of these rules, however, may not be enforceable, if push came to shove. This would depend on the specific laws of California, California which control landlords and tenants.

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If you are involved in an argument with your neighbor, in conflict with a zoning regulation, or in a dispute with your landlord, a brilliant California, California real estate attorney can help you prevail.

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