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 an 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 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 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 usually 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 Lafayette, California
There are a huge number of laws in Lafayette, California that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Instead, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
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 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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, California Attorney Help?
If you have a problem with your landlord, your community association, or a neighbor (which the landlord is unwilling or unable to address), an experienced real estate attorney in Lafayette, California will be able to help.