Living situations vary based on several factors, including the management of units in a building. While apartments, condos and co-ops may appear similar on the outside, they are different in many ways.
When contemplating the kind of structure to put in place, understanding basic differences may help.
What is an apartment?
An apartment is a convenient and temporary residence. All ownership and management fall to the entity that runs the building. The rent residents pay covers all costs and does not entitle them to any say in management or issues that arise. The management company may move for eviction if a resident does not pay rent or abide by the rules.
What is a co-op?
A co-op is a more complex housing alternative that allows residents to purchase shares in the overarching corporation. Each share allows residents to occupy a specific unit within the co-op area. These shares grant owners a vote and a voice in how the complex runs. People who live in a co-op generally work together to create and enforce the rules of the larger complex.
What is a condominium?
A condominium requires owners to purchase a unit just like a single-family home. Condo owners must abide by the condominium association rules and regulations, which dictate what owners can and cannot do regarding improvements and uses. The condo association is responsible for maintaining common areas and ensuring that all owners follow other rules in their association documents.
Establishing rules and regulations for multi-unit housing hinges on the structure put in place at the beginning. An experienced professional can guide the way if a change becomes necessary along the way.