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, typically 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.
This is because there are no physical characteristics that can clearly distinguish one from the other. The basic difference lies in the legal ownership arrangement. In a condominium community, the units are actually owned by the residents. The residents also collectively own the common areas, holding joint title to it. In a cooperative community, the buildings and land which make up the houses are owned by a single entity, and the individual units are often rented rather than owned by the residents.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Saco, Maine
Saco, Maine likely has several laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. However, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.
Usually, 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 land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have substantial leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules usually govern things like noise levels, cleanliness, long-term guests, and pets. They are often designed with the goal of balancing residents' rights to a clean and quiet neighborhood, with their individual autonomy.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Saco, 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 Saco, 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 efficient real estate attorney in Saco, Maine will be able to help.