Here you can find the most important information about how to start a Local Tenant Organisation and their main responsibilities.
It is important to remember that the purpose of the Local Tenant Organisation is not to have formal meetings once a month but to be a platform and forum for engaged and enthusiastic residents to create a healthy and enjoyable environment for all who live in your house/building. It is important to recognise, however, that the Local Tenant Organisation is a legal entity and, as such, must be run according to the local laws.
A non-profit organisation is a legal entity which has legal capacity. This means that it may have assets and liabilities; have legally-binding agreements; and it must be open to legal authorities.
To start a Local Tenant Organisation a temporary board must be created with the sole task of starting the non-profit association. The board shall:
- Write proposals for rules/statutes for the local tenant organisation, which shall mainly contain the purpose of the association, describing its work and defining the operating and financial year.
- Convene an organisational meeting for local residents (i.e. the prospective members of the association) in which the rules/statutes are written, drawn up and voted upon. When a majority of members who are present, approve the proposed rules/statutes, these can in turn become by-laws for the association and the initial design of the group can be settled upon.
It is also suggested that at the inaugural organisation meeting (the first organisation meeting), residents elect a new board to run the Local Tenant Organisation for a set term e.g. 1 year. In order to be elected to the board, a majority of members present must vote in favour of the nominee. In addition to the mandatory position for a SSF representative, the board should also consist of:
- a Chairmen;
- a Secretary; and,
- a Treasurer.
Representatives of the organisation, known as signatories, must also be selected, voted upon and, in turn, elected. They are tentatively the board, chairmen and treasurer, who hold the right to conclude contracts and have access to the association’s funds.
The annual meeting is usually the highest decision making session of the organisation. At this meeting, a new board is elected, and the old board discharged for the completed operational and fiscal year. In order for this to happen, there must be a non-profit auditor who examines the organisation’s financial position. This person should also be elected at the meeting. In a newly established organisation (up to 12 months old), the auditor must also be present at the statutory meeting.
When the Board, Auditor, Statutes and Signatories are finalised, the new organisation is ready to begin its work. Among the first tasks to completed, the organisation should:
- Apply for an Organisation Number and approval from the Tax Authority, as required for all non-profit associations. Also ensure that all activities are declared to the Tax Authority (Skatteverket) each financial year.
- A bank account should be opened. Nb. A non-profit organisation is considered a business customer of a bank.
- Obtain insurance for the organisation’s premises and any other premises related to the group. Nb. A non-profit organisation is considered a business customer of insurance companies as well.
- Apply for organisation grants through SSF.
Between the annual meetings, it is the board’s responsibility to run the group on behalf of the organisation. The board meets as required throughout the year, and is led by the chairmen with minutes recorded by the secretary.
To find out more about the Local Tenant Organisation’s activities, please refer to ‘Guidelines for the Local Tenant Organisation’s work’ under the documents tab.