Condominium and Cooperative Law in Massachusetts
Cooperatives and condominiums are instances 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.
Just 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 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 Woburn, Massachusetts
There are a huge number of laws in Woburn, 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.
Your day-to-day life in a common interest community will likelyy be impacted more by the rules set by the owner or manager of the property, rather than any local or state laws.
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.
This authority, 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 Woburn, Massachusetts. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.
Can a Woburn, Massachusetts Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a reputable Woburn, Massachusetts real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.