Condominium and Cooperative Law in Maine
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, normally 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 defining physical characteristics which are unique to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The important 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 Brunswick, Maine
Many Brunswick, Maine 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.
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.
Because the land they occupy is normally private property, it is the owners of this property who make most of the rules that will affect your daily conduct. A responsible manager will normally make rules designed to balance your right to live as you please in your own residence, with the right your neighbors have to a clean, safe, and quiet living environment.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Brunswick, 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 Brunswick, Maine Attorney Help?
If you have a problem with your landlord, your community association, or a neighbor (which the landlord is unwilling or unable to address), an accomplished real estate attorney in Brunswick, Maine will be able to help.