Condominium and Cooperative Law in New York
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.
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 Niagara County, New York
There are a large number of laws in Niagara County, New York that can affect condominiums and cooperatives, but few, if any, of them are unique to such common-interest communities. Instead, they're mostly governed by laws of general application, covering zoning, contracts, and landlord/tenant relations.
Your day-to-day life in a common interest community will probablyy be impacted more by the rules set by the owner or manager of the property, rather than any local or state laws.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a significant 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.
This power, 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 Niagara County, New York. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in severe civil penalties.
Can a Niagara County, New York Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a good Niagara County, New York real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.