Governance Info / Legal Documents

Bylaws - Qumbya Co-op

These are the bylaws for Qumbya Housing Cooperative (Chicago, IL).  Qumbya is a multi-house system with 3 houses and about 50 members. It has one part-time staff person.

Rent Payment Policy - Qumbya Co-op

The is the Payment Policy from Qumbya Housing Co-op (Chicago, IL) as of 2013.  This policy was created in 2008 out of a response to series of siginificant member debt losses. The policy is relatively strict by co-op standards. It does allow for payment plans, which may be up to 2 months in duration, and must be approved before a debt is accrued, not after. The wisdom gained from the series of losses which we attempted to base this polic on are:

* If a member gets more than 2 months behind on rent, they are very unlikely to ever catch up.

Leadership Cycle

Finding good leaders in a student co-op is not an accidental process.  If your methods for finding and nurturing new leaders are haphazard and less than successful you must institute change or the future of your co-op is at stake.  Good leaders are not found, they are grown. Potential leaders must be identified early in their time in the co-op, they must be encouraged and nurtured.  Most of all they must be rewarded for their involvement through success and recognition.

Sample Co-op Bylaws

These sample bylaw can give you an idea of some simple boilerplate language for incorporating your coop.  Of course, a coop should get these bylaws looked at before submitting them, but these should give you a good idea of what you may want to do, and let you change things where you need to do so in order to make these match your needs.

Sample Articles of Incorporation

One of the first steps to getting your coop incorporated is to write articles of incorporation for your state.  Most states deal with this through the office of the Secretary of State, but a few don't.  Articles themselves, though, are a fairly simple document, even if the whole thing is in legalese.  One thing about Articles of Incorporation is that they are a brief document, and you can read through them in just a minute or so.  The contents are simple enough that you should be able to get an idea of what you would need to change in reading them, and then those changes can be run by

MSU-SHC Master Code of Operations (Policies)

Attached you will find the MSU Student Housing Cooperative's Code of Operations. The code is their collection of corporate policies. It changes and grows as their membership's needs change and grow. Changes to the Code of Operations are generally made by their Board of Directors, but they can also be changed by the membership through a petition and referendum process.