Condominium and Cooperative Law in Washington

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.

Just 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 physical characteristics that can precisely distinguish one from the other. The major difference lies in the legal ownership arrangement. In a condominium community, the units are actually owned by the residents. The residents also collectively own the common areas, holding joint title to it. In a cooperative community, the buildings and land which make up the houses are owned by a single entity, and the individual units are often rented rather than owned by the residents.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Camas, Washington

Numerous Camas, Washington 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.

Usually, 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 manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will likely have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules typically mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.

The power of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For example, in Camas, Washington, 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 Camas, Washington Attorney Help?

If you are involved in an argument with your neighbor, in conflict with a zoning regulation, or in a dispute with your landlord, a reliable Camas, Washington real estate attorney can help you prevail.