Condominium and Cooperative Law in Maine
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.
This is because there are no defining physical characteristics which are distinct to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The significant differences aren't embodied in physical characteristics, but in the legal ownership arrangement governing the communities: in a condominium community, the residents own the units they live in. In a cooperative community, the units are rented.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Bar Harbor, Maine
There are a huge number of laws in Bar Harbor, Maine that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Rather, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
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 land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have considerable leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules typically 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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Bar Harbor, Maine, 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 Bar Harbor, Maine Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Bar Harbor, Maine, a seasoned real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.