Condominium and Cooperative Law in Washington
Cooperative and condominium communities are examples of a class of housing developments recognized 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 normally 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 due to the fact that there are no visual or physical characteristics that can distinguish one from the other. All the differences between them lie in the ownership arrangements that the residents have. With a condominium, the residents normally own their housing unit, and collectively own the land on which it sits. In a cooperative, the residents rent the units, and the land is owned by a single entity, either a corporation or other type of business association.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Gig Harbor, Washington
Gig Harbor, Washington likely has numerous laws and regulations concerning common interest communities. Nonetheless, these are mostly limited to the laws and regulations (zoning, land use, etc.) that concern all real estate owners.
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.
Because the land they occupy is normally 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 normally 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 Gig Harbor, 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 Gig Harbor, 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 seasoned Gig Harbor, Washington real estate attorney can help you prevail.