Condominium and Cooperative Law in New Mexico
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements known as "common interest communities."
These are residential areas with one or more buildings, each housing multiple residential units. The units are part of a larger building, which contains other residential units. In turn, there are several such buildings on the property. The units are rented or owned by the residents, but the building as a whole, and the land on which it sits, is owned either by a third party, or collectively by all the residents. The residents, in addition to mortgage or rent, usually have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.
Just looking at the physical structure of a condominium or cooperative community, it would be nearly impossible to tell which is which.
There are no physical features distinct to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that governs the relationships between the residents and managers. In condominium communities, the residents own the units they live in, and collectively own the land and buildings in which they are located. In a cooperative community, the units are rented, and are owned by a single entity.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Numerous Santa Fe, New Mexico laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written particularly for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
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 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 power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 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 Santa Fe, New Mexico 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 Santa Fe, New Mexico will be able to help.