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 an 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.
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 covers 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 Fairfield, California
Many Fairfield, 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.
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 considerable leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules typically 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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For example, in Fairfield, California, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be valid. There are likely some others, as well.
Can a Fairfield, California Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a brilliant Fairfield, California real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.