Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are instances 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 accountable for the upkeep of common areas, such as lawns and walkways. Rather than personally tending to these things, residents normally pay a fee that covers these necessities.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you discern whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
This is because there are no physical characteristics that can precisely distinguish one from the other. The major difference lies in the legal ownership arrangement. In a condominium community, the units are actually owned by the residents. The residents also collectively own the common areas, holding joint title to it. In a cooperative community, the buildings and land which make up the houses are owned by a single entity, and the individual units are often rented rather than owned by the residents.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Medway, Massachusetts
Numerous Medway, Massachusetts laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written particularly for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
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.
Because the land they occupy is normally 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 normally 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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Medway, Massachusetts, 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 Medway, Massachusetts 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 accomplished real estate attorney in Medway, Massachusetts will be able to help.