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 typically 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 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 typically 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 Norwell, Massachusetts
Norwell, Massachusetts 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.
Usually, the rules established by the owner of the property, or the entity tasked with managing it, are going to have much more of a day-to-day effect on your life than any state laws governing these types of communities.
The manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will likely 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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Norwell, 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 Norwell, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Norwell, Massachusetts, a reliable real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.