It works for some, it doesn't work for others.
The last studio co-op I was in, like Bobby said, had an ironclad lease/subletting contract (which I established as a condition of "partnership") and was fairly one-sided in my favor because the building lease was in my name exclusively.
I had two partners in it, one was the "perfect partner" and we rarely ran into each other. The other was a "space hog," and, as it turned out, was a big time partier and used the studio space as a party zone and "distribution point" if you catch my drift. The good partner left immediately upon discovering this (I don't blame him). When I exercised the eviction notice on him (the devil spawn), he fought me (legally) tooth and nail over every interpretation of every insignificant detail imaginable, trying to force me to give up on the eviction. Fortunately the building owner understood my position (and knew my subletters contract) and allowed me out of my lease early without penalty.
At this point, I would/will never enter into a long-term co-op partnership with people that I don't personally know well.
.:Why isn't "I like kitties" an acceptable career goal?:.