Condominium and Cooperative Law in Pennsylvania
Co-ops and condo communities are forms of "common interest communities."
This is a type of community in which the individual residents rent or own residential units in a building, or collection of buildings, but are collectively accountable for taking maintaining the common areas in their communities, such as lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and the like. This responsibility is usually taken care of by charging the residents a periodic maintenance fee, to pay for the upkeep of the common areas.
Merely viewing one of these communities from the outside (or inside) will not let you discern whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
There are no physical features distinct to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that governs 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 Indiana, Pennsylvania
There are various laws in Indiana, Pennsylvania that might be applicable to common interest communities. But most of these laws are not unique to common-interest communities. Rather, they usually concern zoning, land use, and contract law, which are applicable to most other types of real estate, as well.
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 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.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For instance, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, 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 Indiana, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a reputable Indiana, Pennsylvania real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.