Co-op Governance

Co-ops are run by members, for members. Each member has a responsibility to ensure the co-op runs in accordance with its own rules and the Co-operatives National Law Application Act.

All co-op members should be prepared to take responsibility as a Co-op Director at some stage during their membership and each co-op needs to develop plans to ensure workloads are allocated and skills shared so that the co-op will be well managed in the future.

Directors of the co-op have responsibility for:

  • consulting with co-op members to make decisions in the best interest of the whole co-op
  • managing the finances of the co-op and ensuring it remains viable
  • ensuring the co-op meets its responsibilities as a rental provider(if operating as a CERC).

Some co-ops may choose to contract out functions such as bookkeeping to reduce workloads or ensure appropriate expertise. Directors remain responsible to ensure this work remains up-to-date and make decisions based on the information provided.

Together directors and general members must make decisions that reflect the spirit of the International Co-operative Principles and the Policies and Principles of the CEHL Program, and are in the best interests of all members.

CEHL staff develop a range of resources and training opportunities and can provide professional advice where needed to assist Co-op Directors in their governance responsibilities.

Co-op Management

Co-op Directors must ensure that:

  • all the day-to-day tasks required to meet the co-op’s responsibilities are well managed
  • all relevant records are kept up-to-date
  • all Directors support member to develop the skills and knowledge needed to manage the tasks of the co-op
  • they develop and implement a succession plan to ensure the co-op will be well managed in the future
  • a regular schedule of meetings to make decisions and plan for future needs, with clear agreements about:
    • how important decisions are made
    • who has authority to act on behalf of the co-op
    • how members will be consulted and kept informed of co-op business

Co-op Financial Management

Each co-op is financially independent and responsible for its own financial management. CEHL provides resources, training and advice to assist co-op’s to monitor their finances.


As residential rental providers (formerly known as landlords) Common Equity Rental Co-operatives CERCs receive rental income directly from their renter/members. Rental income funds are used to:

  • Pay property rent to CEHL
    • to meet program expenses
    • fund structural maintenance
    • for property upgrades and
    • growth across the program
  • used by co-ops to meet their own administration costs and property expenses including:
    • water and council rates
    • owner’s corporation fees
    • responsive and cyclical property maintenance
    • administration
    • community building activities

    CERCs need to save reserve funds for future maintenance costs.


Community Managed Co-operatives CMCsdo not carry rental provider (formerly known as landlord) responsibilities. All rents are paid by renter members directly to CEHL to meet costs for:

  • property maintenance
  • tenancy management
  • program costs

CEHL forwards a small monthly payment to the CMC so the co-op can meet expenses including:

  • administrative costs
  • community building activities

CMC may also build reserve funds for future co-op projects.

Exemptions Program Policy


On this page you will find documents and resources updated to comply with the amended Residential Tenancies laws, which came into effect on 29 March 2021.