Condominium and Cooperative Law in New Jersey
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements recognized as "common interest communities."
They are communities where each individual or family resident rents or owns an unit which is part of a larger building, containing other, similar, residential units. The residents are responsible responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of their living areas, such as gardens, walkways, lawns, and swimming pools. They normally meet this responsibility by paying a monthly fee to support this maintenance.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
The basic difference is that, in condominium communities, the units are purchased and owned by their residents, and they also collectively own the common areas of the development. In a cooperative community, the land and buildings in which the housing units are owned by a single corporation or association. The individual units are rented by the residents, not purchased.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Essex County, New Jersey
Several Essex County, New Jersey 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.
In general, the policies 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 governing condominiums or cooperatives.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a considerable 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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For example, in Essex County, New Jersey, 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 Essex County, New Jersey Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a brilliant Essex County, New Jersey real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.