Condominium and Cooperative Law in Maryland
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, typically 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.
There are no physical features unique to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that regulates the relationships between the residents and managers. In condominium communities, the residents own the units they live in, and collectively own the land and buildings in which they are located. In a cooperative community, the units are rented, and are owned by a single entity.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Laurel, Maryland
Many Laurel, Maryland 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.
In general, the policies of the landowner or management board will have a much greater impact on the daily lives and conduct of residents than any state or local laws governing condominiums or cooperatives.
The land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have substantial leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules usually govern things like noise levels, cleanliness, long-term guests, and pets. They are often designed with the goal of balancing residents' rights to a clean and quiet neighborhood, with their individual autonomy.
The enforceability of some of these rules may depend on Laurel, Maryland's laws governing relations between landlords and tenants.
Can a Laurel, Maryland Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a knowledgeable Laurel, Maryland real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.