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.
This is due to the fact that there are no visual or physical characteristics that can distinguish one from the other. All the differences between them lie in the ownership arrangements that the residents have. With a condominium, the residents typically own their housing unit, and collectively own the land on which it sits. In a cooperative, the residents rent the units, and the land is owned by a single entity, either a corporation or other form of business association.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania likely has several laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. However, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.
In general, the policies of the landowner or management board will have a much greater impact on the daily lives and conduct of residents than any state or local laws governing condominiums or cooperatives.
Because the land they occupy is typically private property, it is the owners of this property who make most of the rules that will affect your daily conduct. A responsible manager will typically make rules designed to balance your right to live as you please in your own residence, with the right your neighbors have to a clean, safe, and quiet living environment.
This power, however, has limits. There are some rules which landowners cannot impose. Most obviously, they can't bar people from renting or buying units based on their race, religion, or national origin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in severe civil penalties.
Can a Lancaster, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
If you have a dispute with a neighbor, your landlord, or your homeowners' association, a knowledgeable Lancaster, Pennsylvania real estate attorney can be instrumental in obtaining a desired outcome.