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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 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.

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 form of business association.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Lake Forest, California

There are a large number of laws in Lake Forest, 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.

Your daily life in a cooperative or condominium community is more likely to be affected by the rules set by the owners or managers of the property, rather than the laws of your state or city.

The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a significant 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.

The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Lake Forest, 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.

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