Condominium and Cooperative Law in Missouri
Cooperatives and condominiums are examples 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 outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.
This is due to the fact that there are no visual or physical characteristics that can distinguish one from the other. All the differences between them lie in the ownership arrangements that the residents have. With a condominium, the residents typically own their housing unit, and collectively own the land on which it sits. In a cooperative, the residents rent the units, and the land is owned by a single entity, either a corporation or other form of business association.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Columbia, Missouri
While there are a lot of Columbia, Missouri laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Alternatively, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
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 owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a substantial 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 Columbia, Missouri, 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 Columbia, Missouri Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Columbia, Missouri, a knowledgeable real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.