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 Stoneham, Massachusetts
There are numerous laws in Stoneham, Massachusetts that might be applicable to common interest communities. But most of these laws are not unique to common-interest communities. Rather, they usually concern zoning, land use, and contract law, which are applicable to most other types of real estate, as well.
One's 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 regulations of your state or city.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a substantial 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.
The power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Stoneham, 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 Stoneham, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Stoneham, Massachusetts, a reliable real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.