Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are examples of "common interest" communities.
These are residential areas with one or more buildings, each housing multiple residential units. The units are part of a larger building, which contains other residential units. In turn, there are several such buildings on the property. The units are rented or owned by the residents, but the building as a whole, and the land on which it sits, is owned either by a third party, or collectively by all the residents. The residents, in addition to mortgage or rent, usually have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.
Simply looking at the physical structure of a condominium or cooperative community, it would be nearly impossible to tell which is which.
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 Westport, Massachusetts
There are a large number of laws in Westport, 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.
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.
The manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will probably have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules usually mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.
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 Westport, Massachusetts. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in severe civil penalties.
Can a Westport, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Westport, Massachusetts, a good real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.