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 accountable 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.

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 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 type of business association.

Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Pacific, Washington

While there are a lot of Pacific, 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.

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 usually 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 usually 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.

The enforceability of some of these rules may depend on Pacific, Washington's laws controlling relations between landlords and tenants.

Can a Pacific, Washington Attorney Help?

If you have problems with your landlord, your homeowners association, or a neighbor, a reputable Pacific, Washington real estate lawyer may prove invaluable.