Condominium and Cooperative Law in Pennsylvania
Co-ops and condo communities are types 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 responsible for taking maintaining the common areas in their communities, such as lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and the like. This responsibility is typically 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 know whether it's a cooperative or condominium community.
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 regulates 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 Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Many Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania 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.
Your 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 laws of your state or city.
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 typically mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.
Some rules set by property owners or managers may not be enforceable, however. For example, in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, any rule which purports to exclude residents based on race, color, national origin, or religion will not be valid. There are likely some others, as well.
Can a Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania 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 knowledgeable Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania real estate attorney can help you prevail.