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 Harlan, Iowa

Many Harlan, 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.

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.

The manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will probably have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules typically mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.

The enforceability of some of these rules may depend on Harlan, Iowa's laws governing relations between landlords and tenants.

Can a Harlan, Iowa 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 knowledgeable Harlan, Iowa real estate attorney can help you prevail.