Condominium and Cooperative Law in Michigan
Cooperatives and condominiums are types of "common interest" communities.
These residential communities are composed of a single piece of land, occupied by one or more buildings, each of which contains more than one housing unit. The units are owned or leased by the persons who live in them, but the buildings themselves, and the land they sit on, are owned either collectively by the residents, or by some third party. The residents are responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and the common areas of the property (walkways, lawns, swimming pools, etc.). To that end, they typically pay a periodic fee to cover maintenance.
Simply 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 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 Washtenaw County, Michigan
Several Washtenaw County, Michigan laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
The daily lives of residents, and what they are and aren't allowed to do in their residences, will be far more heavily impacted by rules and regulations that the homeowner's association, or the owner of the land, has imposed.
The manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will probably have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules typically mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For example, in Washtenaw County, Michigan, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be valid. There are likely some others, as well.
Can a Washtenaw County, Michigan Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a knowledgeable Washtenaw County, Michigan real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.