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 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 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 usually 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 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
There are several laws in Luzerne County, 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.
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.
Because the land they occupy is usually 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 usually 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.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 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 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania 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 Luzerne County, Pennsylvania will be able to help.