Condominium and Cooperative Law in New York
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements recognized 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, normally have to pay a fee to cover maintenance of the common areas.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
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 New York, New York
There are a large number of laws in New York, New York that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Rather, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
The daily lives of residents, and what they are and aren't allowed to do in their residences, will be far more heavily impacted by rules and regulations that the homeowner's association, or the owner of the land, has imposed.
The land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have considerable leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules typically 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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For example, in New York, New York, 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 New York, New York Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a brilliant New York, New York real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.