Glossary

Arrears
A member's unpaid, overdue debt to the co-op. Arrears are typically the monthly housing charge, but can also include other unpaid debts.
Auxiliary Member
In Quebec, an auxiliary member does not have the same rights and obligations as other members. An auxiliary member has an interest as a user of the co-op services, but cannot vote or be on the board. In Alberta, an auxiliary member is a person who is not, or who is no longer, a full member of a cooperative but has an association with it, as determined by the articles or the bylaws.
Board of Directors
A group of members who are elected to govern the affairs of the co-op.
Bylaws or Rules
Written document(s) that outline the rules and regulations that members, the board and staff must follow. Bylaws or rules must comply with provincial or territorial co-op housing Acts and other laws.
Claim
A matter that a person wants the court to decide.
Claimant
A person or an organization that brings the matter to the court, usually in regards to monies owed.
Co-operative Basis
The guidelines, principals, and expectations governing how co-ops in a province or territory are run. See the Provincial/Territorial Fact Sheets under Obligations for provincial/territorial specifics.
Counter Claim
A legal charge that a Defendant has raised in addition to his or her response to the legal charge of a Claimant.
Date of Service
The date that a document is served on a person or organization.
Defendant
A  person or organization who is defending against a legal charge that has been filed against them.
Fiscal Year
The financial year of the co-op.
Housing Charge
A  charge the member pays each month in exchange for the right to be a member of the co-op and live in the co-op.
Human Rights Laws
Laws that are set out by each province and territory, and that make it illegal to deny a person housing because of his or her age, colour, creed, ethnic or national origin, family status, marital status, physical or mental handicap, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or source of income.
Lease
A  contract that allows for the use and/or occupation of property in exchange for a specified rent.
Member
A person who belongs to the co-op, and has both the rights and obligations that are outlined in the co-op bylaws or rules.
Members' Meeting
A meeting that all co-op members can attend and where the entire membership has the right to vote. (Proxy voting may be prohibited in some co-ops.)
Occupancy Agreement
An agreement between a member and the co-op that acts as a contract between the two parties. The occupancy agreement outlines the obligations of the member to the co-op, and the obligations of the co-op to the member.
Occupancy Bylaw or Rule
A bylaw that outlines the rights and obligations of members who live in the co-op.
Proxy Voting
Where a member who is entitled to vote at a meeting authorizes another member to vote on his or her behalf at a specific meeting and under specified circumstances (e.g. in a vote at the annual meeting related to the election of a new board of directors and the passing of the annual co-op budget).
"Rent" Geared to Income (RGI)
A lower housing charge that is adjusted to the income of the member. If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their monthly housing charge is usually set at 30 per cent of their gross household income.
Reserve Fund
Money set aside by the co-op for special circumstances and contingencies.
Resolution
The written idea of a member, including a director, that is suggested to the co-op to be agreed upon and adopted by the membership
Rules
See Bylaws or Rules.
Scheduled Arrears
An arrangement between the co-op and a member that outlines when a member will make payments to clear up any money owed (arrears) to the co-op.
Share Subscription Agreement
An agreement between a member and the co-op that outlines the terms and conditions that apply to the member as a shareholder in the co-op.
Special Resolution
A resolution that is submitted to a meeting of the co-op or a meeting of the directors and passed at the meeting by more than a simple majority of members. The percentage of required votes is different for each province and territory. In some, the resolution will pass with at least 2/3 of the votes cast, while in others the resolution will only pass with at least 3/4 of the votes cast.
Subsidy
Financial assistance provided by the government or government agency that is granted to a member.
Subsidized Housing
Financial assistance usually offered through a government program to qualifying low-income members.
Subsidized Housing Charge
The housing charge paid by low-income members who live in subsidized units and have a portion of their housing charge paid for by someone else, usually the government or a government agency. If a household qualifies for a subsidy, their monthly housing charge is usually set at 30 per cent of the household income.
Unscheduled Arrears
Money owed for which there is no repayment schedule.
Vacant Possession
When the previous member moves out of his or her unit, so that the co-op can regain possession of the unoccupied unit.
Writ of Possession
An order issued by the courts or rental authority that gives the sheriff the right to peacefully remove a co-op member from a unit in order to restore possession of the unit to the co-op.

Canada

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