Condominium and Cooperative Law in New York
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements known 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 people 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 usually 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 major 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 Stony Brook, New York
While there are a lot of Stony Brook, New York laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Instead, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
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 that common interest communities occupy is usually private property. Therefore, the owners of the property are free to make certain rules governing what is and isn't allowed on it. A good manager or owner will usually make every effort to strike a balance between residents' freedom to do what they want in their homes, and the rights of their neighbors to a safe, clean, and reasonably quiet living space.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Stony Brook, 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 Stony Brook, New York 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 Stony Brook, New York will be able to help.