In the typical Condominium setting, as a Unit Owner you receive title to your Unit to the exclusion of all other Unit Owners in your Community. Likewise, all other Unit Owners have title to each of their individual Units which compromise the Community. Title to the Association’s common element property (consisting of the land, road ways and buildings within the Community, including any recreational facilities) is owned by the Association of which you are a member. Your ownership interest in the Association’s common element property is in common with all other members of your Association and is typically specified as a percentage interest in your Governing Documents. You cannot separate your ownership interest in your Unit from your ownership interest in the Association’s common elements. When you convey title to your Unit to a subsequent purchaser, the acquiring Unit Owner accedes to the ownership interests you had in your Unit and the common elements.
Property Owner's Rights & Priveleges
Types of Ownership
In the Homeowners Association setting, the Homeowner has title to the Homeowner’s lot to the exclusion of all other Homeowners within the Community. This type of ownership is very similar to the type of ownership enjoyed by most single-family homeowners. However, along with title to your lot, you automatically become a member of the Homeowners Association and as such you have a specified percentage ownership interest in the property belonging to the Homeowners Association. The Association’s property typically consists of the open space lands, the Community’s clubhouse and recreational facilities as well as the roadways and common parking areas. You own your lot individually and all of the other common Association property you own collectively (“in common”) with your fellow Homeowners.
Ownership in a Cooperative Association is entirely different from that in a Condominium or Homeowner Association. The Cooperative (“Co-op”) Association is typically a profit cooperation (as opposed to the nonprofit Condominium or Homeowner Association) that has title to the real estate upon which the residential units are constructed as well as the Units themselves. Individuals in the Cooperative Association actually purchase shares of stocks in the Co-op entity. By purchasing shares, the Shareholder attains the right to occupy as specific dwelling within the project pursuant to a long-term proprietary lease issued by the Association. In addition, by purchasing stock in the Cooperative, you acquire and undivided percentage ownership interest in the common elements of the Cooperative Association. Although you have a right to occupy your dwelling pursuant to your long-term proprietary lease, record title to the building, the land upon which the building is situated and all other improvements remains with the Cooperative Association.
Age Restricted Associations
Over the course of the last 20 years, certain Federal statutes have created exemptions from the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (“FHAA”). An exemption for “housing for older persons” has been created. Many projects have been developed which are intended for the housing of persons 55 years of age or older. These projects are specifically exempted from the FHAA which prohibits discrimination based on familial status. In these projects the use and occupancy of the lots, with limited exception is limited to individuals of the age 55 years and older. Occupancy of the lots is restricted so that at least one person of the age 55 years or older must occupy the lot provided that a younger spouse or companion is also permitted to use and occupy the lot and that children over the age of 19 are permitted to reside with an otherwise qualified parent.