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 Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Various Cape Elizabeth, Maine laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written particularly for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be legitimate. There are likely some others, as well.
Can a Cape Elizabeth, Maine Attorney Help?
If you are involved in an argument with your neighbor, in conflict with a zoning regulation, or in a dispute with your landlord, a seasoned Cape Elizabeth, Maine real estate attorney can help you prevail.