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, typically 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.

There are no physical features unique to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that regulates 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 Forest City, Iowa

There are several laws in Forest City, 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.

Your daily life in a cooperative or condominium community is more likely to be affected by the rules set by the owners or managers of the property, rather than the laws of your state or city.

Because the land they occupy is typically 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 typically 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.

The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Forest City, Iowa, 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 Forest City, 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 efficient real estate attorney in Forest City, Iowa will be able to help.