Condominium and Cooperative Law in North Carolina
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements identified as "common interest communities."
This is a type of community in which the individual residents rent or own residential units in a building, or collection of buildings, but are collectively accountable for taking maintaining the common areas in their communities, such as lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and the like. This responsibility is typically taken care of by charging the residents a periodic maintenance fee, to pay for the upkeep of the common areas.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you discern whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
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 type of business association.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Washington, North Carolina
There are a huge number of laws in Washington, North Carolina that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Alternatively, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
In general, the procedures of the landowner or management board will have a much greater impact on the daily lives and conduct of residents than any state or local laws controlling condominiums or cooperatives.
The land that common interest communities occupy is typically private property. Therefore, the owners of the property are free to make certain rules governing what is and isn't allowed on it. A good manager or owner will typically make every effort to strike a balance between residents' freedom to do what they want in their homes, and the rights of their neighbors to a safe, clean, and reasonably quiet living space.
This authority, however, has limits. There are some rules which landowners cannot impose. Most obviously, they can't bar people from renting or buying units based on their race, religion, or national origin in Washington, North Carolina. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.
Can a Washington, North Carolina Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a reliable Washington, North Carolina real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.