generic constitution for a tenants/residents association

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afraser
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Joined: 16-07-05
Mar 29 2006 11:23
generic constitution for a tenants/residents association

Draft - for comments - of a sample mission statement and constitution for generic tenants/residents association.

Big difference to other standard constitutions out there is that this has no 'committee' separate from the membership. That will hopefully be more democratic, and also easier for small TRAs to manage meetings and admin workload.

Once finished this could be made available as a rich text format download in a libcom housing/local/community organising section, so any newly formed group can use it as a basis for their constitution.

Quote:
What We Do and How We Work

We exist to fight for the interests of local tenants and residents – our members.

We are run by and for our membership as a whole. All our office bearers, and anyone else representing us, are servants of the membership, and obey the decisions made at our meetings.

Our meetings are open to all local tenants and residents; will be held as often as members want/as often as possible; and will hold no issue to be beyond discussion.

Agenda items at our meetings are decided by the body of the meeting – individual members are allowed to write into the agenda any item they want discussed while the meeting is starting.

The chairperson of each meeting will be elected at the start of that particular meeting – and will not necessarily be our official ‘chairperson’ (when we have one).

CONSTITUTION

1. Name of Association

The name of the Association Shall be the______________________________ TENANTS/RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

2. Aims of the Association

To promote the interest of tenants and residents in the area on matters concerning housing and the environment of the area, and the social, economic, and community life of the area.

3. Membership

(a) Membership shall be open to all tenants and residents, irrespective of tenure, in the area:

[description of the area by its boundaries or by listing street names:]

(b) Membership shall be free of charge.

(c) All voting members must be at least 16 years of age.

(d) Membership shall cease immediately upon a person leaving the area defined above.

4. Office Bearers

(a) Office bearers shall be elected to carry out the business of the Association.

(b) The office bearers shall include, as a minimum, a secretary and a treasurer. Particular annual general meetings may decide to create and fill additional office bearer positions such as chairperson, minutes secretary, and so on.

(c) The office bearers shall be elected at the annual general meeting. Previous office bearers shall be eligible for election again.

(d) Vacancies amongst office bearers shall be filled by election at the next ordinary general meeting.

(e) The office bearers shall carry out the duties given them by the members at general meetings of the Association.

5. Annual General Meeting

(a) There shall be an Annual General Meeting within fourteen months of the Association’s inaugural meeting or last annual general meeting.

(b) The Annual General Meeting shall

· Receive a report from the office bearers of their activities, including a statement of accounts fully audited;

· Accept the resignation of all officer bearers and elect new office bearers (previous office bearers shall be eligible for election again.);

· Appoint two competent individuals, not having been office bearers during the preceding twelve months or elected to serve as new office bearers, to audit its accounts;

· Vote on any proposed amendments to the constitution; and

· Vote on any other proposals submitted by members. Adopted proposals shall be binding on office bearers and others representing the association. All members shall be allowed to submit proposals during the meeting.

(c) The secretary will notify all Members of the date of the meeting not less than 21 days in advance of that meeting.

(d) The quorum for annual general meetings shall be 8 members.

6. Ordinary General Meetings

(a) Ordinary general meetings may be held throughout the year, as called by the secretary or as agreed at earlier general meetings.

(b) The ordinary general meetings shall:

· Elect members to serve on any vacant office bearer positions; and

· Vote on any other proposals submitted by members. Adopted proposals shall be binding on office bearers and others representing the association. All members shall be allowed to submit proposals during the meeting.

(c) There shall be no set quorum for ordinary general meetings.

7. Special General Meetings

(a) A special general meeting shall be held:

· when called by the secretary; or

· when called for by any 8 members, in writing, to the secretary, with their signatures and addresses. The request should state the reasons for calling the special meeting.

Those 8 members may organise and publicise the special general meeting themselves if the secretary does not do so within a reasonable time period.

(b) The secretary (or other meeting organiser) will notify all members in writing of the date of the meeting not less than 21 days in advance of that meeting, and state the purpose of the meeting in that notice.

(c) The quorum for special general meetings shall be 8 members.

8. Changes to the Constitution

(a) The constitution may be altered at the Annual General Meeting or at a special general meeting called for that purpose.

(b) Proposed changes must be submitted to the secretary in writing not less than 3 days before the meeting.

(c) Changes must be agreed by at least a two-thirds majority of voting members present at the meeting.

9. Removal of Office Bearers (outwith annual general meetings)

(a) Office bearers may be removed (outwith AGMs, when they are automatically removed) at a special general meeting called for that purpose.

(b) A simple majority of votes at that meeting shall be enough to remove office bearers. The special meeting would then elect new office bearers as at an annual general meeting. Previous office bearers shall be eligible for election again.

10. Finance

(a) All money raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objects of the Association.

(b) The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finances of the Association and make a report available at every meeting.

(c) The funds of the Association shall be managed through a bank account. Cheques written on behalf of the Association must bear the signatures of two office bearers.

11. Dissolution of the Association

(a) The Association may only be dissolved by a special meeting called for that purpose.

(b) Dissolution of the Association shall only take effect if agreed by two thirds of the members present and voting at that meeting.

(c) Any assets remaining after meeting liabilities must be distributed among local charities nominated by that meeting.

(d) Any money received via funding bodies should be returned to the funders in relation to the funding criteria.

(e) On dissolution, any documents belonging to the Association shall be disposed of in a manner agreed by that meeting.

12. Adoption

This constitution was adopted at the inaugural/annual general meeting on

______________________________(date).

Signed ___________________________ (Chair)

___________________________(Secretary)

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Mar 29 2006 11:32
afraser wrote:
Draft - for comments - of a sample mission statement and constitution for generic tenants/residents association.

Big difference to other standard constitutions out there is that this has no 'committee' separate from the membership. That will hopefully be more democratic, and also easier for small TRAs to manage meetings and admin workload.

Once finished this could be made available as a rich text format download in a libcom housing/local/community organising section, so any newly formed group can use it as a basis for their constitution.

What a great idea! People's thoughts/comments would definitely be appreciated.

Nick Durie
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Joined: 12-09-04
Mar 29 2006 13:56

It is a very good idea. Libcom should also syndicate some of the Haringey Federation of Residents Association stuff (after obviously genericizing it). this is basically lifted straight from them, with every reference to HFRA taken out. You'd obviously need to get their approval or failing that rewrite in your ain words.

Quote:
LET’S CREATE STRONG AND ACTIVE RESIDENTS’ GROUPS

IN EVERY STREET AND NEIGHBOURHOOD!

Local community action

- what we can do as residents

A DIY GUIDE

· Would you like to meet people, and to share ideas, local information and experiences?

· Would you like to see people supporting each other, and more community spirit in your neighbourhood?

· Do you want to see a safer and better environment, better conditions, more facilities and social justice for you and all your neighbours?

· Do you believe people should speak up for themselves about what they need and want?

If so, why not set up a residents’ group in your street, block of flats or local area – or join one that’s already active?

How can we, as local residents, make a real difference to our communities and neighbourhoods?

In any community a whole range of positive, practical things can be organised and encouraged which bring people together, build up community spirit and improve our local neighbourhoods. Some examples of things you could do that are already going on in many places around the country:

· encourage informal discussion and communication in your street, block and neighbourhood

· do local door-to-door leaflets and newsletters about local issues

· hold public meetings on topical local issues

· organise street parties and other social events

· set up skills and resources sharing schemes

· campaign for play and youth facilities and activities

· demand traffic calming

· take up people’s housing problems and conditions

· resist obnoxious or inappropriate development schemes

· defend useful community facilities threatened with closure

· make sure the streets are kept clean - and pavements and lights are in good repair

· promote recycling projects

· get the council to plant more trees in local streets

· organise picnics and other activities in local parks

· start a ‘park friends’ group, and protect and improve all local green spaces

· set up and support parents’ groups in schools and playcentres

· do local residents’ opinion surveys

· organise local art and creativity exhibitions - and plan community murals

· find positive ways of reducing anti-social behaviour

· make sure local historical sites and buildings etc are protected

· support and set up local clubs / interest groups (gardening, music, sports, local history etc)

The possibilities are endless… with an active residents association you could start to do them all!

Kicking things off The trick is to get organised and active. By encouraging neighbours to get involved, and being as positive and friendly as possible with everyone, it is amazing what people can achieve. Why not get together with two or three neighbours you know and start meeting regularly in each other’s homes or in a friendly local neighbourhood centre? Give yourselves a name. Call a meeting of local residents to publicly launch a residents association – we can attend (see below) to give support and answer questions.

Discuss what people feel are the important issues, and things you can start to do together - deliver reports of these discussions to all interested neighbours. Contact the authorities to find out what’s going on about various issues – when ready, lobby them and take action for the improvements your community wants. It’s all about taking ‘ownership’ of our own neighbourhoods and our own lives.

Stick at it! Encourage local initiative. Gradually build up a list of more and more members/contacts. Organise public meetings and events, local campaigns and so on. Leaflet door-to-door. Start an e-list for members. Most importantly, stick at it and you and your community will be stronger for it…

You’re not alone! There are thousands of local residents associations in all corners of the country. The libcom housing network has involvement from dozens of groups across the country and can support you to get set up, and put you in contact with other groups doing similar things.

Together we're stronger!

Please contact us for advice, and more information or if you have any queries.

www.libcom.org