Condominium and Cooperative Law in New York
Cooperatives and condominium developments are examples of arrangements recognized 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 individuals 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 normally pay a periodic fee to cover maintenance.
Simply 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 unique to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that covers 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 Watertown, New York
Many Watertown, 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 specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
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 manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will probably have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules normally mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Watertown, New York, 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 Watertown, New York Attorney Help?
If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in Watertown, New York, a brilliant real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.