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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 typically 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 typically 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 Riverside, California

While there are a lot of Riverside, California laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Alternatively, 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 typically 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 typically 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.

Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Riverside, California, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be legitimate. There are likely some others, as well.

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Can a Riverside, California Attorney Help?

If you are involved in an argument with your neighbor, in conflict with a zoning regulation, or in a dispute with your landlord, a reliable Riverside, California real estate attorney can help you prevail.

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Life in Riverside


The City of Riverside is unsurprisingly the seat of Riverside County and home to numerous historical, cultural, and educational institutions. In fact, Riverside is called the "City of Arts and Innovation." The Fox Performing Arts Center is better known as the "Fox Theater" is best known for being the location for the first theater preview screening of the American Classic "Gone with the Wind." The Fox Theater was recently restored and reopened for a sold out Sheryl Crow concert. It's located in downtown near the California Museum of Photography, which boasts the most comprehensive photographic collection west of the Mississippi. The Riverside County Historic Courthouse is a historical and architectural attraction built in the "beaux arts" style. There are also a number of Queen Anne style homes in Riverside's Historic District.

Annual visitors come to Riverside for events like the Riverside International Film Festival, Riverside Air Show, and the Riverside Dickens Festival that campaigns for literary and community awareness. Other seasonal visitors include students attending the nearby institutions of higher education like nearby University of California at Riverside. UC Riverside is also the largest employer in the city with over 7,100 faculty and staff. California Baptist College, California Southern Law School, Riverside City College, and La Sierra University round out the other major colleges in Riverside. There are also a number of important courts in Riverside like the United States District Court, US Bankruptcy Court for Central California, Riverside Superior Court, and California Court of Appeals. You might guess there would be a number of knowledgeable lawyers in the area as well. Bakersfield actually offers a number of lawyers who specialize in more than Criminal, Bankruptcy, and Immigration cases. The bustling film industry in Riverside has brought a number entertainment and contract related lawyers to the city.

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