A tenant association is a union of all or most of the tenants in a building. When tenants work together, they can apply more pressure to make a landlord provide services, make repairs, and stop harassment—and get the best possible home for the rent they're paying. A strong tenant association can force a landlord to listen; as a group, the tenants can have more leverage to negotiate, file complaints with the city and state agencies that oversee housing, get help from elected officials, go to court, or—if push comes to shove—call a rent strike.Once your tenant association is up and running, you may or may not want to have a formal structure with elected officers, committees, and by-laws. Many associations get along perfectly well with nothing more than officers, and in a larger building, floor captains. There is no need to incorporate or register your tenants' association with any government agency. There is no form to fill out, and starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is a very time-consuming and expensive procedure which usually isn't necessary. Many tenant associations have no need to collect money, but if you decide to open up a bank account, the easiest option is to open a joint personal bank account under the names of multiple officers. By-laws help to avoid confusion about the purpose of your group and how it goes about carrying out its plans, by putting down in writing the purpose of the association and the responsibilities of members and leaders, as well as formalizing the decision-making process.