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, typically have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.

Just looking at the outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.

The general difference is that, in condominium communities, the units are purchased and owned by their residents, and they also collectively own the common areas of the development. In a cooperative community, the land and buildings in which the housing units are owned by a single corporation or association. The individual units are rented by the inhabitants, not purchased.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Houlton, Maine

Various Houlton, 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.

Because the land they occupy is typically 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 typically 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.

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 Houlton, Maine. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.

Can a Houlton, Maine Attorney Help?

If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a reliable Houlton, Maine real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.