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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 usually 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.

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 Novato, California

Novato, California likely has numerous laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. Nonetheless, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.

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 usually 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 usually 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.

This authority, however, has limits. There are some rules which landowners cannot impose. Most obviously, they can't bar people from renting or buying units based on their race, religion, or national origin in Novato, California. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.

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