Condominium and Cooperative Law in Minnesota
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 people 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 usually pay a periodic fee to cover maintenance.
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 Virginia, Minnesota
Several Virginia, Minnesota 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.
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 land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have significant leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules generally 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 Virginia, Minnesota, 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 Virginia, Minnesota 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 experienced real estate attorney in Virginia, Minnesota will be able to help.