RE: Room rental in cohousing
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 11:48:33 -0500
Just Last night the Sharingwood rental task force met to redefine our
policy about rentals. We currently have 4 rental apartments built into
basements and have 2 house shares. Our original policy was to limit the
number of renters to 20% of the total population. We may change that in
the near future as we are currently exceeding that limit as of next week
and find such percentages somewhat arbitrary. (Our policy lets us change
the percentage at any meeting)

>1. Is there a ready market in your area for cohousing renters.  Have
>you found it easy or difficult to rent rooms?  I hope it's not
>relatively as hard to find renters in cohousing as it is to find
>[Rob Sandelin Sharingwood]  
>We have never had a problem finding renters. As a matter of fact, the
>last two rental apartments that have been built have had renters lined
>up for them months in advance. We have found there is a HUGE market for
>renters in cohousing.
>2. What is your process for finding renters?  Do you advertise to the
>general public or do you rely primarily on contacts within your
>cohousing network?
>[Rob Sandelin Sharingwood]  
>We use internal contacts exclusively. In a given year, a couple hundred
>people inquire about Sharingwood, with dozens of them coming to
>meetings or dinner. Out of this pool of contacts there are many
>expressed interests for renting.
>3. What kind of selection process do you use to qualify renters?  Do
>you require consensus of all households in the community?  I would
>think that the selection process would have to be less stringent for
>renters than for full members.
>[Rob Sandelin Sharingwood]  
>Owners pick their own renters, but we have a large pool of contacts
>which are used. (there is  competition for the spaces actually). Our
>policy is that we expect renters to perform to the same expectations as
>owners for attending meetings and being involved in the community. 
>That's why we allow renters in the first place, to provide spaces for
>folks who want to live in our community but can't afford to buy a
>house. One issue which is being discussed is what to do about renters
>who do not meet our expectations for involvement.
>4. Do you assess renters monthly for common facilities use and
>maintenance or is that assessment by household?
>[Rob Sandelin Sharingwood]
>Yes, there is a monthly renter assessment which is a subset of the
>regular assessment (Regular assessment minus capital improvements)
>I have questions on the authority given to renters in consensus
>making but there are several articles in cohousing-l archives with
>this subject.
>[Rob Sandelin Sharingwood]
>Renters are involved in all aspects of community meetings, from board
>meetings to general meetings, etc. A renters opinions are listened to
>and respected as much as anyone elses, however they can not block
>Issues being discussed by the task force on rental policy at
>Sharingwood include:
>Parking, renters pets, rental assessment, total number of renters in
>the community, renter expectations, renter removal (if someone doesn;t
>meet expectations).

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