Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are types of "common interest" communities.
These are communities in which each resident rents or owns a residential unit. The residential units are part of a larger building, or complex of buildings, which are owned by another entity, such as a corporation or association. The residents are responsible for the upkeep of common areas, such as lawns and walkways. Rather than personally tending to these things, residents usually pay a fee that covers these necessities.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
The basic difference is that, in condominium communities, the units are purchased and owned by their residents, and they also collectively own the common areas of the development. In a cooperative community, the land and buildings in which the housing units are owned by a single corporation or association. The individual units are rented by the residents, not purchased.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Amherst, Massachusetts
There are a large number of laws in Amherst, Massachusetts that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Instead, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
Your day-to-day life in a common interest community will probablyy be impacted more by the rules set by the owner or manager of the property, rather than any local or state laws.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a significant number of regulations concerning what can be done in and around the housing units. These rules will likely concern cleanliness, noise, and policies governing the presence of pets and long-term guests.
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 Amherst, Massachusetts. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in severe civil penalties.
Can a Amherst, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a good Amherst, Massachusetts real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.