Condominium and Cooperative Law in Iowa

Condominiums and cooperatives are forms of "common interest" communities.

These residential communities are composed of a single piece of land, occupied by one or more buildings, each of which contains more than one housing unit. The units are owned or leased by the individuals who live in them, but the buildings themselves, and the land they sit on, are owned either collectively by the residents, or by some third party. The residents are responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and the common areas of the property (walkways, lawns, swimming pools, etc.). To that end, they normally pay a periodic fee to cover maintenance.

If you simply look at a condominium or cooperative community, you likely won't be able to tell if it's one or the other.

This is due to the fact that there are no visual or physical characteristics that can distinguish one from the other. All the differences between them lie in the ownership arrangements that the residents have. With a condominium, the residents normally own their housing unit, and collectively own the land on which it sits. In a cooperative, the residents rent the units, and the land is owned by a single entity, either a corporation or other type of business association.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Shenandoah, Iowa

Shenandoah, Iowa likely has numerous laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. Nonetheless, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.

In general, the procedures 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 controlling condominiums or cooperatives.

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.

This authority, 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 Shenandoah, Iowa. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.

Can a Shenandoah, Iowa Attorney Help?

If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Shenandoah, Iowa, a seasoned real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.