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 because there are no defining physical characteristics which are unique to one type of cooperative community, but not the other. The important differences aren't embodied in physical characteristics, but in the legal ownership arrangement governing the communities: in a condominium community, the residents own the units they live in. In a cooperative community, the units are rented.
Laws and Regulations Concerning Common Interest Communities in Woodland, Washington
Several Woodland, Washington laws affect common-interest communities. However, almost all of these laws govern real estate more generally, and there are very few laws written specifically for common interest communities. Such generally-applicable laws include zoning regulations, contracts, and the relations between landlords and tenants.
In general, the policies 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 governing condominiums or cooperatives.
Because the land they occupy is usually 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 usually 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 authority of landowners is limited, however, and there are some rules that cannot be given legal effect. For instance, in Woodland, 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 Woodland, 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 Woodland, Washington real estate attorney can help you prevail.