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Know the Ethics for Condos and Cooperatives

Know the Ethics for Condos and Cooperatives

Because properties which house condominiums, cooperatives, timeshares or related properties involve some form of representative community governorship, it is extremely common when purchasing, occupying, or overseeing a condominium or similar property that the inhabitant(s)  Also, as rental properties, condominiums are subject to particular ethical standards regulated by the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
 
In terms of an occupants’ ethics and morals, codes of conduct are usually drafted by a homeowners association or some other form of community law, and typically require strict governance to preset ethical or moral standards.  With that stated, codes of conduct can generally be extended, depending on the nature of the community, to many different forms of ethical or moral guidelines infractions.  The owner/occupant generally has to acknowledge that everything in the agreement is true and accurate (such as age, income, proper name, etc), and anything that isn’t violates a lapse in the ethics of the agreement.
 
Additionally, codes of conduct can be extended to certain standards of behavior and decorum, especially in terms of criminal activity (generally involving the property). Agreements can be invalidated, for instance, if an owner/occupant is found to be using the apartment to sell illegal substances, fence stolen goods, etc. 
 
Codes of ethics, morals, and conduct are also almost always extended to member of a homeowner’s association or “condo board,” and require strict adherence to so that a position on said board is not abused to the detriment of all members of the community. Typically, these ethical/moral guidelines prohibit abuses of power, not limited to persecution of a tenant or a restriction of a tenant’s rights, making decisions that would provide them compensation outside of what is provided as a member of the board/association (accepting bribes, for instance), showing documented favoritism to a family member or friend, sharing privileged or personal information about a tenant or about the association, and generally requiring a certain level of professional behavior in the performance of their duties.
 
Also, since condominiums, and timeshares represent forms of property that can be shared, traded, or rented without a physical transaction of goods or property, it is not uncommon to see them exploited and mentioned in investigations that involve bribery or violations of ethical behavior by corporate executives, public officials, student athletes et al.  

Difference Between Condominiums and Cooperatives

Difference Between Condominiums and Cooperatives

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.
(https://real-estate.laws.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

Articles & Bylaws of Condominiums

Articles & Bylaws of Condominiums

Condominium law in the United States began with the passage of the Utah Condominium Act in 1960. This allowed property entrepreneur Keith Romney to build a privately owned, collective managed series of housing units in the Salt Lake City area. Housing owners could now buy, sell, and maintain their “condos” as private property. This differs fundamentally from apartment tenancy, which does not grant property rights to renters. 
After the success of his first venture, Romney counseled an addendum to article 234 of the National Housing Act of 1961. This stipulation allowed the Federal Housing Administration to insure the mortgages of condos, affording many more prospective buyers the option of ownership over apartment rental. In addition, this act allowed for collective management of the condo’s by the owners themselves, instead of a third party (such as an apartment property manager).
Today, condo owners are members of Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs). The HOA has an elected board of directors responsible for creating rules and regulations for residency in the units. These collectively agreed upon rules and regulations are referred to as “bylaws”, a term which formerly referred to the rules and regulations of early American municipalities. Bylaws vary from unit to unit, but often regulate similar housing issues.
The most common concern of HOA bylaws refers to the unit’s animal policy – if and what kind of pets are accepted in the individual properties. While residents do own their respective living spaces, animals create specific concerns for neighboring units for reasons such as noise, cleanliness, and safety.  
All HOAs have detailed specific animal policies, which often regulate species, breed, weight and size of allowed pets in the condos. HOA bylaws often have noise regulations and designated “quiet times”, much like apartment complexes. These bylaws may lay out an acceptable decibel rating with regard to time of day, as well as a warning and a set of consequences for offenders.
In addition to regulations on noise and pets in the condo, HOAs must agree upon each member’s association dues. These dues are agreed upon and managed by the board of directors, and are used for general upkeep of the collective properties. HOA dues cover property maintenance and renovation of the common interior and exterior areas. 
These maintenance costs include house paint and siding, window replacement, maintenance of the heating/central air system and landscaping. Bylaws plan out specific budgets for these estimated costs, and allow for variances. HOA’s will sometimes vote on the specifics of these services (such as color, style, etc), while other times the elected board of directors will make these decisions without the input of the residents in the condo.  In this case, the board of directors functions like apartment property management.
The legal advances in housing tenure legislation spearheaded by Keith Romney lead to the collective formation of Homeowners Associations, who govern and regulate the individually owned and operated residencies in condos. Each HOA is tasked with the responsibility of creating, modifying and enforcing regulations on its members through collective bylaws.