A form of housing in which residents form a corporation for the purpose of owning and managing a multi-unit property collectively. Instead of owning an individual apartment, residents legally own a set number of shares in the coop that gives them the right to use the apartment. If a resident wants to move, those shares are sold to another buyer who then moves into the apartment. Owners pay a maintenance fee each month that covers the expense of utilities, an underlying mortgage on the building, salaries for staff members, and other costs of upkeep. The maintenance fee may also cover a reserve fund, which is a savings account that can be drawn on in the event that an expensive repair needs to be made. As a result of part of the maintenance payment going to pay for a mortgage, some of the monthly maintenance payment, often half, may be deducted from income taxes on Schedule A of the Form 1040.
Typically, coop owners hold an annual meeting at which owners elect members to the board of directors and vote on any other coop issues. Although coops are a typical form of housing in New York City, with over 80 percent of the housing stock comprised of coops, they are a relatively rare phenomenon in other parts of the United States.