Condominium and Cooperative Law in Maine
Cooperatives and condominiums are types 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, usually have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.
Simply looking at the outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.
The basic 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 residents, not purchased.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in North Berwick, Maine
While there are a lot of North Berwick, Maine laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Instead, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
Generally, the rules established by the owner of the property, or the entity tasked with managing it, are going to have much more of a day-to-day effect on your life than any state laws governing these types of communities.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a significant 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.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in North Berwick, 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 North Berwick, Maine Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a good North Berwick, Maine real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.