Condominium and Cooperative Law in Iowa
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.
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 because there are no physical characteristics that can clearly distinguish one from the other. The basic difference lies in the legal ownership arrangement. In a condominium community, the units are actually owned by the residents. The residents also collectively own the common areas, holding joint title to it. In a cooperative community, the buildings and land which make up the houses are owned by a single entity, and the individual units are often rented rather than owned by the residents.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Burlington, Iowa
Several Burlington, Iowa laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
The daily lives of residents, and what they are and aren't allowed to do in their residences, will be far more heavily impacted by rules and regulations that the homeowner's association, or the owner of the land, has imposed.
Because the land they occupy is usually private property, it is the owners of this property who make most of the rules that will affect your daily conduct. A responsible manager will usually make rules designed to balance your right to live as you please in your own residence, with the right your neighbors have to a clean, safe, and quiet living environment.
This power, 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 Burlington, Iowa. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in severe civil penalties.
Can a Burlington, Iowa 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 Burlington, Iowa will be able to help.