Prince Edward Island

Name of Act/Regulations

Co-operative Associations Act, RSPEI1988, c. C-23
The Coop Act has a section that deals with how housing coops are formed.
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/c-23.pdf

Regulations: General Regulations, PEI Reg EC883/76
canlii.ca/en/pe/laws/regu/pei-reg-ec883-76/63735/pei-reg-ec883-76.html

Fees Regulations, PEI Reg EC223/05
canlii.ca/en/pe/laws/regu/pei-reg-ec223-05/62926/pei-reg-ec223-05.html 

Landlord/tenant legislation does not apply to housing coops.

Admitting New Members

Coops in Prince Edward Island set the process for admitting new members in their bylaws.

There are no age restrictions on membership.

A person becomes a member of the coop once:

  • his or her application for membership is approved by the board
  • he or she agrees to comply with the bylaws dealing with membership.

Obligations of the Members to the Coop and of the Coop to its Members

Cooperative Basis

All coops are expected to be run on a cooperative basis, which means that they must govern their members and make bylaws pursuant to the principles set out in the Coop Act:

  • each member has only one vote
  • no member may vote by proxy
  • the coop operates as closely as possible at cost
  • any surplus funds arising from the business of the coop are used for:
    • the maintenance or improvement of services to its members
    • community welfare
    • the spread of cooperative principles to members of the coop. 

Articles of Incorporation

Articles of incorporation ("articles") are the originating documents that create a housing coop. Articles include the name of the housing coop (including the word "co-operative/cooperative" in its name) and the address of the coop. Members must comply with the articles of the coop. Members can vote to make changes to the articles by passing an extraordinary resolution. A coop may change its name, location or the number of directors to sit on the board of directors by special resolution.

Bylaws

As noted above, the coop must make bylaws pursuant to the principles set out in the Act.

In addition, the General Regulations require the bylaws of a housing coop to contain provisions dealing with:

  • the use of the units
  • right of entry into units
  • payment of housing charges
  • settlement of disputes
  • withdrawal and expulsion of members
  • leasing of units by non-members.

The Regulations also sets out that the bylaws may contain rules. The rules can relate to the obligations of coop members to the coop and to each other.

Meetings

A housing coop must hold at least one members' meeting, called an annual general meeting, no later than 6 months after the end of the fiscal year of the coop. The coop can agree to meet more often, if permitted by the rules.

Board of Directors

Elections are held at the AGM. Voting is usually done by ballot. Proxy voting is not allowed.

The board of directors must meet regularly to manage the business of the coop.

Access to Information

A housing coop must allow its members to examine the documents of the coop free of charge, except where the documents are reasonably considered by the members to be confidential.

Offences

A person or coop is guilty of an offence where that person or coop fails to comply with the Coop Act. A person can be fined up to $2,500. A coop can be fined up to $5,000.

Eviction/Expulsion of Members

Grounds for Terminating (Evicting) a Member

The coop makes its own bylaws, which set out how a member can be evicted from the coop. As permitted by the bylaws, the board of directors can evict a member for failing to comply with the coop's rules and regulations.

The Termination Process

The termination process starts with a written complaint to the board about an individual member. The board meets to discuss the complaint.

The coop must give the member at least 20 days' written notice explaining the situation and demanding that the member rectify the problem within a specific, reasonable amount of time.

The 20-day notice period does not apply when a member has broken a bylaw related to:

  • the cleanliness of the unit, if the member has already received a notice from the coop in this regard
  • the use of the premises for prohibited purposes
  • non-payment of housing charges.

The board's decision to evict is made by resolution. The board sends a notice to the member by registered mail to the member's last known address. The notice must state the date of eviction, which cannot be earlier than one month after the date the notice was mailed to the member.

Member's Right to Appeal

A member cannot appeal the termination of his or her membership due to:

  • the failure to pay housing charges as they become due
  • vandalism or destruction of property belonging to the coop
  • use of the unit for illegal purposes
  • breaking any bylaw that regulates the leasing of a unit to a non-member.

Otherwise, a member can appeal his or her eviction to the members, if he or she is not satisfied with the board's decision to evict. The board may, at any time before the proposed eviction date, place the matter on the agenda of the next special or general meeting of the members in order to have the members  consider the eviction.

The member has the right to attend the special or general meeting of the members to give reasons why he or she should not be evicted. After the member has been given an opportunity to speak to the members, the members vote on whether to evict the member.

The decision of the members is final.

Obtaining a Writ of Possession to Remove a Member

When a person's membership in a housing coop is terminated and the member does not move out of the unit, the General Regulations state that the housing coop may apply to the Director of Residential Tenancies or the Supreme Court for an order of possession pursuant to the Rental of Residential Property Act RSPEI 1988, c. R-13.1.

The coop can also obtain an order for payment of any arrears of housing charges and compensation for use and occupation until the day of recovery of possession.

Collecting Money Owed

Allowed claim amounts for Small Claims Section of the Supreme Court:

  • up to and including $8,000.

The coop can recover money owed by a current or past member.

Accepting payment of arrears does not stop the coop from terminating membership or taking back the unit.

For an overview of the small claims court process for each province and territory, see the section: An Overview of the Small Claims Court System.

If the amount claimed is more than $8,000, the claimant must take the claim to the General Trial Division and follow the Rules of Court of that court. The Rules of Court tend to be very complex and it is suggested that the claimant consult a lawyer.

Related Links

Prince Edward Island — Human Rights Commission
PO Box 2000
53 Water Street
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A 7N8
Tel.: 902-368-4180 or
Toll free: 800-237-5031 (PEI only)
www.gov.pe.ca/humanrights
Provides links to various services of the Human Rights Commission of PEI.

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission Guide to Complaint Process
www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/hrc_comp_proc.pdf
This booklet is a plain language guide to bringing a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

Canada

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