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“What do I need to know as a first-time co-op member?”

"I'm moving into a housing co-op and I want to understand the basics."

Some people compare living in a housing a co-op to renting; some compare it to owning. In truth, co-ops are unique — they are their own thing. They are not covered by the laws the apply to renters (Residential Tenancy Act), and they are not covered by the Societies Act The law that guides housing co-ops in BC is the Cooperative Association Act (the Co-op Act).

  • Check out our video (soon in multiple languages) for an introduction to housing co-ops.
  • Your co-op may have staff or a management company. They are a good source of information.
  • Make sure you know where to find you co-op’s policies and rules. Many co-ops will provide a member handbook or policy manual.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It will take a bit of time to learn how your co-op works.
    Co-ops don’t talk about rents, but about housing charges.
  • You will get more out of your co-op experience if you can get involved in some way. All co-op members have a right to vote in member meetings, but most co-ops have multiple ways to get involved. Most co-ops have committees (e.g. gardening, social, sustainability, etc.) and many have social events or clean-up sessions. Learn how you can contribute and get to know your neighbours!