Condominium and Cooperative Law in Virginia
Cooperative and condominium communities are examples of a class of housing developments identified as "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 accountable 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.
If you simply look at a condominium or cooperative community, you likely won't be able to tell if it's one or the other.
There are no physical features distinct to either one, which can be used to distinguish them. Rather, the difference lies in the legal arrangement that regulates the relationships between the residents and managers. In condominium communities, the residents own the units they live in, and collectively own the land and buildings in which they are located. In a cooperative community, the units are rented, and are owned by a single entity.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Salem, Virginia
While there are a lot of Salem, Virginia laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Alternatively, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
In general, the procedures 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 controlling condominiums or cooperatives.
The land that common interest communities occupy is typically private property. Therefore, the owners of the property are free to make certain rules governing what is and isn't allowed on it. A good manager or owner will typically make every effort to strike a balance between residents' freedom to do what they want in their homes, and the rights of their neighbors to a safe, clean, and reasonably quiet living space.
This authority, 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 Salem, Virginia. This conduct is illegal under state and federal law, and can result in grave civil penalties.
Can a Salem, Virginia Attorney Help?
If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a reliable Salem, Virginia real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.