Condominium and Cooperative Law in Maryland
Cooperatives and condominiums are forms 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, normally 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.
There are no physical features distinct to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that covers 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 Owings Mills, Maryland
While there are a lot of Owings Mills, Maryland laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Rather, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
In general, the procedures 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 controlling condominiums or cooperatives.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a considerable 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 Owings Mills, Maryland. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.
Can a Owings Mills, Maryland Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Owings Mills, Maryland, a seasoned real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.