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 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 Lincoln, Maine
Various Lincoln, 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.
One's daily life in a cooperative or condominium community is more likely to be affected by the rules set by the owners or managers of the property, rather than the regulations of your state or city.
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 Lincoln, 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 Lincoln, Maine Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a seasoned Lincoln, Maine real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.