Re: Annual costs - charging residents and/or owners
From: Pablo Halpern (
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:42 CST
> From: Hig, Cascade CoHousing, Tasmania
> I am seeking information about how functioning cohouses catagorise
> the costs of running the cohouse for charging to owners and residents.
> At Cascade CoHousing residents may be owners or tenants and owners may or may
> not be resident.  We need to decide how we are going to split the costs of
> running the cohouse between owners and residents. 
> There seem to be three classes of costs in running a cohouse
> capital costs such as maintaining the common house and major infrustructure
> which might best be charged to owners, general maintanence of grounds, minor
> works and maybe the annual costs of running the common house which might 
> logically be charged to all residents or households and thirdly the costs of
> running common meals which could be split in a number of ways.
> How are other cohouses dealing with this issue,  what do you charge to whom,
> and how do you charge for common meals.

I suggest a simple, market-based approach.  For common expenses other
than meals, split the costs among the OWNERS ONLY.  In the case of
tenants, let their land-lords set the rent such that the land-lord can
cover their mortgage, common house fees, etc. and possibly make a
profit.  This is the standard way that condo owners rent out their
units.  The unit owners are always responsible for condo fees and the
condo association does not get involved with rent negotiations between
the owners and their renters.

In all of the comunities I've heard of, meals are not included in the
regular montly fees.  People pay per meal and that would extend to
tenants as well as owners.

As far as tenant's participation and "voting" rights, I suggest you
extend tenant's rights as much as possible, so that they can be true
participants in the community.  Limitations can be added later if there
is a problem.  One issue to be resolved is whether absentie landlords
also have voting rights.  This could cause a problem whereby a single
house gets two votes (e.g.  if consensus fails).  Either landlords or
tenants, but not both should have voting rights for these cases.  In a
normal consensus situation (at least the way New View does it), this is
not a problem because each individual can block consensus, regardless of
the number of individuals in a household.  Only for fall-back voting are
households counted as a single vote each.


Pablo Halpern              (508) 435-5274         phalpern [at]

New View Neighborhood Development, Acton, MA

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