Condominium and Cooperative Law in New York
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements identified as "common interest communities."
These residential communities are composed of a single piece of land, occupied by one or more buildings, each of which contains more than one housing unit. The units are owned or leased by the persons who live in them, but the buildings themselves, and the land they sit on, are owned either collectively by the residents, or by some third party. The residents are responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and the common areas of the property (walkways, lawns, swimming pools, etc.). To that end, they typically pay a periodic fee to cover maintenance.
Just looking at the physical structure of a condominium or cooperative community, it would be nearly impossible to tell which is which.
This is because there are no physical characteristics that can precisely distinguish one from the other. The general 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 Southampton, New York
Various Southampton, New York 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.
One's daily life in a cooperative or condominium community is more likely to be affected by the rules set by the owners or managers of the property, rather than the regulations of your state or city.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a substantial 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 instance, in Southampton, New York, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be legitimate. There are likely some others, as well.
Can a Southampton, New York Attorney Help?
If you are involved in an argument with your neighbor, in conflict with a zoning regulation, or in a dispute with your landlord, a reliable Southampton, New York real estate attorney can help you prevail.