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Condominium and Cooperative Law in California

Condominiums and cooperatives are forms of "common interest" communities.

These are communities in which each resident rents or owns a residential unit. The residential units are part of a larger building, or complex of buildings, which are owned by another entity, such as a corporation or association. The residents are accountable for the upkeep of common areas, such as lawns and walkways. Rather than personally tending to these things, residents normally pay a fee that covers these necessities.

If you simply look at a condominium or cooperative community, you likely won't be able to tell if it's one or the other.

The general 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 inhabitants, not purchased.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Monterey County, California

While there are a lot of Monterey County, California laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Rather, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.

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 that common interest communities occupy is normally private property. Therefore, the owners of the property are free to make certain rules governing what is and isn't allowed on it. A good manager or owner will normally make every effort to strike a balance between residents' freedom to do what they want in their homes, and the rights of their neighbors to a safe, clean, and reasonably quiet living space.

The enforceability of some of these rules may depend on Monterey County, California's laws controlling relations between landlords and tenants.

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