Co-operative Apartments Law and Legal Definition

A co-operative apartment or a housing cooperative is a legal entity, usually a corporation that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, which is generally subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. A shareholder in a co-operative apartment does not own real estate, but a share of the legal entity that does own real estate. Co-operative ownership is quite distinct from condominiums where people "own" individual units.