What is a tenant-ownership?
A tenant-owned housing association is a cooperative economic association that owns and manages a property. The Tenant-Ownership agreement , governs what a tenant owned housing association may and must do. A tenant owned housing association leases the apartments on its property to the members of association who have paid for their owner-occupied apartments. A tenant-owner does not formally own his or her apartment (the apartment itself is owned by the tenant-owned housing corporation), but instead directly owns a portion of the corportion and has a right to reside in the apartment (right of utilization) without any time limitation.
Being a tenant-owner
In a tenant-owner corporation, you pay a fixed down payment to the corporation only when the use of the apartment is granted for the very first time. As a tenant-owner, you have no right to the return of this down payment from the corporation when you cease to be a member. Instead, you repay the financial value of the tenant owner apartment through your sale of the tenant-owner right to the apartment. You have no personal liability and you risk only your down payment.
A tenant-owner is a member in a tenant-owned housing corporation, which means that the members are directly part-owners of the property. The members of a tenant-owned housing corporation together decide how the property should be renovated, how cleaning should be done and the how common areas should be used. A tenant-owner is entitled to have a say in the activities of the tenant owned cooperative housing corp orationby voting at the annual general meeting of the association and introducing motions to be handled at such a meeting.
The tenant-owner is entitled to pledge, sell or gift his or her owner-occupied apartment. But along with the rights of a tenant-owner, there are also obligations. The obligations of a tenant-owner to the tenant owned cooperative housing corporation are set out, inter alia, in the by-laws of the corporation.
The responsibility of the tenant owned cooperative housing association and the tenant-owners, respectively
In simple terms, the tenant-owner is responsible for all maintenance within the apartment, whilst the association is responsible for all other maintenance. This division of responsibility is governed by both the Tenant-Ownership agreement and the by-laws of the association.
The Tenant-Ownership agreement provides that a tenant-owner shall, at his or her own expense, keep the apartment in good condition, and maintain its standard, unless otherwise provided in the by-laws. The tenant-owner owns and is responsible for the fixtures and fittings of the apartment, for the furnishing and equipment in the bathroom and kitchen, such as the stove and refrigerator, as well as for the maintenance of the surfaces on the apartment, such as walls, floors and ceilings. The by-laws of the association describe the responsibilities of tenant-owners in greater detail. A member of a tenant-owned housing corporation can be excluded from membership for failure to follow the rules that have been adopted by the tenant-owned cooperative housing association.
The responsibility of a tenant-owned housing corporation includes, for example, the maintenance of common areas, such as the laundry room, stairwells, lines and conduits for electricity, heating, gas, and sewage. The corporation is also responsible of the maintenance of areas outside the apartment.