Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are examples 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.
This is because there are no physical characteristics that can clearly distinguish one from the other. The main 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 New Bedford, Massachusetts
Many New Bedford, Massachusetts 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 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.
Some of these rules, however, may not be enforceable, if push came to shove. This would depend on the specific laws of New Bedford, Massachusetts which govern landlords and tenants.
Can a New Bedford, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a good New Bedford, Massachusetts real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.