Condominium and Cooperative Law in Rhode Island

Co-ops and condo communities are types 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 responsible 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.

Simply looking at the outside (or inside, for that matter) of a condo or cooperative community, you likely can't tell which it is.

This is because there are no defining physical characteristics which are unique to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The important 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 North Kingstown, Rhode Island

North Kingstown, Rhode Island 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.

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 land on which these communities sit is private property, so the owners have considerable leeway when it comes to setting rules regarding what tenants can and can't do on the property. These rules typically govern things like noise levels, cleanliness, long-term guests, and pets. They are often designed with the goal of balancing residents' rights to a clean and quiet neighborhood, with their individual autonomy.

The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, 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 North Kingstown, Rhode Island Attorney Help?

If you are in a dispute with your homeowners' association, a neighbor, or your landlord in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, a brilliant real estate lawyer may prove extremely helpful, if the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved.