Housing cooperative Definition
A housing co-operative is a legal form of real estate ownership where residents own shares in the legal entity which owns an entire group of homes, usually one or more apartment buildings. Each shareholder typically has a lease agreement between the person and the co-op, and the co-op's rules typically provide tenure for its residents, and expulsion usually requires a substantial majority vote of members.
Each resident or resident household has membership in the co-operative association. Members have occupancy rights to a specific suite within the housing co-operative as outlined in their "occupancy agreement", which is essentially a lease.
In essence, a co-operative is neither full home-ownership nor full rental, but rather a separate and distinct type of housing on the spectrum that includes these other types of home ownership. Co-operative ownership is quite distinct from condominiums where people own individual units. Because of this, most jurisdictions have developed separate legislation, similar to laws that regulate companies, to regulate how co-ops are operated and the rights and obligations of shareholders.