Condominium and Cooperative Law in Iowa
Condominiums and cooperatives are forms 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, normally 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 discern whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
There are no physical features distinct to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that covers the relationships between the residents and managers. In condominium communities, the residents own the units they live in, and collectively own the land and buildings in which they are located. In a cooperative community, the units are rented, and are owned by a single entity.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Dubuque, Iowa
There are numerous laws in Dubuque, Iowa that might be applicable to common interest communities. But most of these laws are not unique to common-interest communities. Rather, they usually concern zoning, land use, and contract law, which are applicable to most other types of real estate, as well.
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.
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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Dubuque, Iowa, 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.
Can a Dubuque, Iowa Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a seasoned Dubuque, Iowa real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.