NorthPoint Property Management’s Condo & Homeowner’s Board Member Handbook outlines four property associations:
Condominium Associations: Owning a condominium gives you an undivided interest in property held in common with other owners (common elements) plus a separate interest in a “dwelling unit”.
Cooperatives: A cooperative is a corporation or trust that is set up to manage property, typically an apartment building. Each purchaser is a shareholder, certificate holder or beneficiary of the cooperative. A proprietary lease that grants rights of occupancy to an apartment is executed, and each member is subject to the by-laws and house rules. Cooperatives usually maintain control over who may purchase and/or live on the property.
Homeowners’ Associations: Homeowners’ or townhome associations are communities consisting of attached or detached housing in which individual owners of units or lots are subject to recorded covenants which may include the right to use the common areas. These associations are also known as “common interest associations”.
Master Associations: A master association (also known as an umbrella association; “homeowners’ association” may sometimes actually refer to a master association) creates an association with designated powers over one or more separate residential associations, usually to administer recreational facilities and other common areas. It is often set up to control jointly shared facilities.