Tenants can, and usually do have a Council representing tenants and working on behalf of tenants in the complex. The Tenants' Council is elected at annual meetings. If they have representation on the Board of Directors, the Tenants' Council will select such representatives. They then have the authority to act on behalf of the Council at Board Meetings.
Most Tenants' Councils work hard to help build a supportive, active and enjoyable environment in which all tenants can enjoy their Life Lease experience and the camaraderie of their neighbors. Tenants' Councils often organize or mange various responsibilities for their complex such as social events, landscaping decisions, building regulations and policies, smoking use and cost of activity rooms, priority list for parking spaces, use of bulletin boards, etc., and purchase of equipment or furnishing for common areas and use of all tenants.
Some Complexes also take on responsibilities for some management areas such as suite rentals, maintaining waiting lists, minor building maintenance and others. This will vary according to each complex given differences in number of suites, level of interest of tenants, willingness of sponsors/owners, abilities of active tenants, etc.
Each Life Lease Complex is sponsored by a non-profit organization such as service clubs, churches, cultural organizations, housing associations and others that want to provide affordable and quality accommodation to seniors.
The sponsor is the owner of the property. Seniors who live in a Life Lease Complex are tenants, even though they have a financial investment in it.
The sponsoring organization plans, organizes and manages the design, construction, financing and contacting for the construction of the building. It coordinates the initial leasing of the facility, either directly or through a real estate company.
The sponsor usually is responsible also for the continuing management, maintenance, financing and leasing of the facility after construction. In some Life Lease facilities, the tenants may have taken on responsibility for some or all of these areas, often with owner and/or management company participation.
A Life Lease complex will have a Board of Directors (or its equivalent by another name). this board is the governing body for the complex as established by the Non-Profit Owners. Membership on this board is governed by the By-Laws and Constitution for the Life Lease complex, and may include representatives of the owners, the tenants and any other persons qualified under the By-Laws and Constitution.
In many cases, membership on the Board of Directors is limited to members of the Non-Profit Owners, with tenants given the right to have tenant representation on the Board. this tenant representation may come with full, partial or no voting powers on matters brought before the board and may be restricted to one or two tenant representatives. the Corporate By-Laws and Constitution should speak to these authorities and responsibilities. In a very few cases, a board of Directors may exclude tenants from their meetings.
The Board of Directors is not elected by the tenants but is expected, at the very least, to consult with tenant representatives and to supply them with the information coming before the Board for consideration. They also have a duty to supply tenants with financial statements documenting the financial status of the Corporation and its various funds, budgets and current revenue/expenditure statements.