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Difference Between Condominiums and Cooperatives

Condominiums V Cooperatives Overview

Condominiums, cooperatives, and timeshares are unique property terms which refer to housing units, often, though not exclusively, apartments, which are owned and operated outside of the traditional rubric of owner/tenant. When compared to the acquisition of a house, a condominium owner entails similar risks and benefits at a diminished cost.

A condominium owner is usually subject to the bylaws implemented by an elected Homeowner’s Association (HOA), and is generally required to spend a small fee at regular intervals to the HOA to support the upkeep of the collective community.

(http://real-estate.islaws.com/Condo-coops/Condominiums/Articles-bylaws).

Cooperatives differ from condominiums in that instead of offering ownership of an apartment or unit, the prospective tenant purchases a share of the property in exchange for the apartment. Though technically not an owner of the property, the shareholder has a voice in the running of the collective property through either a vote or elected representation.

A timeshare is an apartment of dwelling in which an individual either buys or rents a dwelling for preset duration of time each year (and is thus commonly used as a vacation residence).


In all forms of collective habitation listed above, all owners, shareholders, renters, and members of the HOA or other board of governance are subject to codes of conduct, which outline the ethics and morals which an occupant is required to adhere to

Condominiums:


A condominium, a legal term in the United States referring to a form of housing that is privately owned by the resident, shares a common collective exterior with one or more separate units.

Origin:

Condominiums are derived from French collective property ownerships under the Napoleonic Code of 1804. This was a drastic break from traditional English property ownership laws.

Articles & Bylaws:


The Utah Condominium act of 1960 allowed for private ownership of a residence in a collective unit.

Representation:

While the HOA's elected board of directors has executive authority over the collective unit of condominiums, it often must seek legal representation in matters of discrepancy between itself and the individual unit owners. Litigation between condominium mortgage holders and unit owners may arise from simple matters of Collection of Dues, to more complex issues of violation of Right of First Refusal (ROFR). Finally, both parties will seek attorney in matters of liens and foreclosure when the HOA has sought compensation or owner removal from the unit.

Cooperatives:

A cooperative is a fairly rare form of building or estate ownership in which a building (or a group of buildings) is owned an operated by a group of individual shareholders.

Timeshares:

A timeshare is a form of property in which an individual purchases or rents a property for a set period of time per year. Usually used as vacation homes, the guidelines and organization of timeshares can vary per agreement, and can be defined through lease or ownership within a collective system or co-ownership with other owners of the timeshare. What all timeshares generally have in common is that the owner has rights to use of the property and occupancy for a set period agreed upon and determined through the prearranged property agreement. While not usually seen as a lucrative investment, timeshares remain hot properties in popular resort areas.

Ethics:

Because properties which house condominiums, cooperatives, timeshares or related properties involve some form of representative community governorship, it is extremely common when purchasing, or occupying a condominium or similar property that the inhabitant(s) in the Homeowners’ Association

NEXT: Finding Representation in a Condominium

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