How is Co-op Housing Different From Rental Housing?
1. Residents of a housing co-op are not called “tenants”, but are referred to as “members” because they are a member of a community and have equal say in how that community is run. Rules for the co-op are made by the members in the form of “by-laws” and are approved by the “Board”. The Board of Directors is usually made up of members, however sometimes the Board has individuals participating who are not co-op members.
2. The applicable legislation governing co-op housing is the Co-operative Corporations Act. Co-op living is not legislated by the Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 or its predecessor The Tenant Protection Act, 1996.
3. Unlike rents, Co-op housing charges rise only with increases in operating costs and do not include profits. The monthly dollar amount for the right to occupy a unit is not called “rent”, but is known as a “Monthly Housing Charge”.
4. Co-operative housing ensures an equal voice among residents in the decisions affecting their housing. Decisions include determination of monthly housing charges, services, and rules governing the organization. These decisions are made at regular meetings.
5. Co-op housing provides a unique opportunity for people to build a community and develop closer neighbourly relationships.