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 normally meet this responsibility by paying a monthly fee to support this maintenance.
Just looking at the outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.
The major difference is that, in condominium communities, the units are purchased and owned by their residents, and they also collectively own the common areas of the development. In a cooperative community, the land and buildings in which the housing units are owned by a single corporation or association. The individual units are rented by the inhabitants, not purchased.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Washington County, Pennsylvania
While there are a lot of Washington County, Pennsylvania laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Rather, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
Typically, the rules established by the owner of the property, or the entity tasked with managing it, are going to have much more of a day-to-day effect on your life than any state laws governing these types of communities.
The owner or manager of the property on which your unit sits will likely have a considerable 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.
The power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Washington 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a seasoned Washington County, Pennsylvania real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.