Condominium and Cooperative Law in Florida
Condominiums and cooperatives are types of "common interest" communities.
These are residential areas with one or more buildings, each housing multiple residential units. The units are part of a larger building, which contains other residential units. In turn, there are several such buildings on the property. The units are rented or owned by the residents, but the building as a whole, and the land on which it sits, is owned either by a third party, or collectively by all the residents. The residents, in addition to mortgage or rent, usually have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.
If you simply look at a condominium or cooperative community, you probably won't be able to tell if it's one or the other.
This is because there are no defining physical characteristics which are unique to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The important differences aren't embodied in physical characteristics, but in the legal ownership arrangement governing the communities: in a condominium community, the residents own the units they live in. In a cooperative community, the units are rented.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in St. Augustine, Florida
There are a large number of laws in St. Augustine, Florida 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 policies 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 governing 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 authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in St. Augustine, Florida, 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 St. Augustine, Florida 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 St. Augustine, Florida will be able to help.