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 usually 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.

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 governs 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 El Segundo, California

Several El Segundo, 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.

The daily lives of residents, and what they are and aren't allowed to do in their residences, will be far more heavily impacted by rules and regulations that the homeowner's association, or the owner of the land, has imposed.

The land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have significant leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules generally 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 El Segundo, California, 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 El Segundo, California Attorney Help?

If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a good El Segundo, California real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.