Healthy Co-op Checklist

13 INDICATORS OF YOUR CO-OP’S VITAL SIGNS IN A HEALTHY CO-OP
  1. Shareholders elect a board of directors annually
  2. Shareholders take turns serving on the Board, so there is some turnover every year
  3. An annual financial report is distributed to shareholders each year
  4. The board of directors prepares an annual budget for the maintenance and operation of the building, and sets maintenance fees each year
  5. Co-op policies are set by the Board/shareholders, and the board employs a manager to carry these policies out
  6. The officers supervise all the co-op’s employees, including the manager
  7. The manager (whether a professional "outside" manager, or an "inside" manager) has a written contract
  8. The manager responds to questions and requests from the officers/board in a timely manner
  9. The board responds to questions and requests from shareholders in a timely manner
  10. Co-op policies (regarding repairs, alterations, subletting, resale, etc.) are clear and understandable, and are written
  11. Shareholders are kept up to date on co-op policies by newsletter, special notices, meetings, or other methods
  12. Shareholders are familiar with the By-Laws and proprietary lease, and keep copies of these documents on hand for reference
  13. Shareholders vote to amend the By-Laws and proprietary lease when necessary
IN AN UNHEALTHY CO-OP
  1. There are no annual elections
  2. The same people serve on the board year after year after year
  3. Shareholders do not receive any financial information
  4. Years go by without an annual budget being prepared
  5. The manager acts like a landlord: s/he both makes policies and carries them out
  6. An officer is also the manager
  7. The manager has no written contract or job description, and it is therefore impossible to supervise him/her, or to hold him/her accountable
  8. The manager is unavailable, and does not respond to officer/board questions and requests
  9. The board is unavailable, and does not respond to shareholder questions and requests 
  10. Policies regarding these issues either do not exist, or are confusing and are not in writing
  11. The board does not keep shareholders up to date on co-op policies
  12. Shareholders have never read the By-Laws and proprietary lease, and do not possess copies of these documents
  13. Shareholders never use their power to make amendments to these documents