Condominium and Cooperative Law in Pennsylvania
Co-ops and condo communities are forms of "common interest communities."
They are communities where each individual or family resident rents or owns an unit which is part of a larger building, containing other, similar, residential units. The residents are accountable responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of their living areas, such as gardens, walkways, lawns, and swimming pools. They typically meet this responsibility by paying a monthly fee to support this maintenance.
Just looking at the physical structure of a condominium or cooperative community, it would be nearly impossible to tell which is which.
This is because there are no defining physical characteristics which are distinct to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The significant differences aren't embodied in physical characteristics, but in the legal ownership arrangement governing the communities: in a condominium community, the residents own the units they live in. In a cooperative community, the units are rented.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Somerset, Pennsylvania
Numerous Somerset, Pennsylvania laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written particularly 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.
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.
The power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Somerset, 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 Somerset, 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 efficient real estate attorney in Somerset, Pennsylvania will be able to help.