Tenant management cooperatives
This section looks at how tenant management cooperatives are formed, and by whom.
Tenant Management co-ops overview
Tenant management cooperatives (co-ops) are formed by groups of tenants of a local authority or RSL (registered social landlord). The co-op becomes the managing agent for the landlord and, depending on what is included in the management agreement, may be responsible for a variety of management duties for the properties that the members occupy.  This includes the allocation of houses, as long as it is in accordance with the legislation and with published local authority allocation rules.
The co-op has to have been approved by the Scottish Government. The local authority or RSL must accept an application by a co-op to take over allocation and management functions, unless they believe that the co-operative has not been approved by the Scottish Government, or would not be able to perform the functions competently or efficiently or does not represent the tenants of the houses.
If the local authority or RSL turns down an application, then the co-op can appeal to the Scottish Government, who can make the final decision. This right of appeal also applies to disputes over the terms of an agreement. The final agreement between the local authority/RSL and the co-op also has to be approved by the Scottish Government.
The co-op will usually take on housing management functions in a particular area or housing estate. The landlord pays the co-op for the work it undertakes but the co-op does not have ownership of the accommodation. Since the ownership of the property does not change hands, the co-op does not have to raise money for the buildings but the co-op would have to have careful negotiations with the landlord about, for example, responsibility for repairs. Tenants will be Scottish secure tenants or, in limited cases, short Scottish secure tenants under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.
Last updated: 30 November 2020