Condominium and Cooperative Law in Washington
Cooperative and condominium communities are examples of a class of housing developments known 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 responsible for taking maintaining the common areas in their communities, such as lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and the like. This responsibility is usually taken care of by charging the residents a periodic maintenance fee, to pay for the upkeep of the common areas.
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 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 usually 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 form of business association.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Newcastle, Washington
While there are a lot of Newcastle, Washington laws that will affect the residents and owners of condominium and cooperative communities, there are few that are actually specific to such communities. Instead, they are mostly governed by laws of more general application, such as contract law, zoning laws, and landlord/tenant law.
The daily lives of residents, and what they are and aren't allowed to do in their residences, will be far more heavily impacted by rules and regulations that the homeowner's association, or the owner of the land, has imposed.
The manager or owner of the land on which your residence is located will probably have a lot of rules concerning what can and cannot be done in and near the houses. These rules usually mandate cleanliness, keeping noise to a minimum, and regulate the presence of pets.
The authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Newcastle, 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 Newcastle, 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 good Newcastle, Washington real estate attorney can help you prevail.