RE: rental units
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996 11:27:51 -0500
At Sharingwood we have 4 rental units, one bedroom basement apartments
that are built by the owners of the home.  Up till recently this was not
an issue, but as we examine our total population and membership it came
up as a task force item.  The basic outline is that we expect renters to
hold the same level of community involvement as members.  The primary
benefit is that it allows people into the community who could otherwise
not afford to live here. Another benefit is that it provides one bedroom
units, something we otherwise would not have any of. Another small
benefit is that we collect an assessment from renters so the community
gets some money. Problems conjectural at this point. What if someone
moves in as a renter and then causes problems?  Should this occur, the
same level of dialog and conflict mediation would happen as if an owner
moved in and caused problems.

Landlords choose whom they want to rent to with no input from the
community. The community collects a rental assessment, which is some
percentage of the regular member assessment. Renters are subject to the
same agreements as the owners.

Thus far we have had no problems filling our 4 rental spaces, in fact
one of our rental spaces will come available in the fall and already has
3 people who are interested, so the demand for rental space in our
community is high.

One issue that is yet to be decided is how many rental spaces should we
have? The current agreement is the renter cap is 30% of the owner
population. However another up coming issue is how many one bedroom
apartment units do we want. So far there have been no limits placed on
this, and some folks who plan to build in the future have indicated an
interest in building a rental space in their home. Currently we have 4
apartments built and it is possible we could have as many as 23 out of
29 homes with apartment spaces in them. I would think that would be too
many, but how many is enough is still an unresolved issue. Part of the
issue is total population, and part is income for owners. There are some
folks who plan to build who are depending on rental income in order to
afford their house, a situation that obviously has a variety of

Another advantage of at least one of the rental units we have is that is
is designed to provide a space for a live in caregiver for an elder.
This will allow her to stay in her own home, in her community, as she
becomes increasingly disabled. The community in general would not be
able to provide daily care.

So far our rentals have been an asset to the community. I hope that

Rob Sandelin 

>-----Original Message-----
Sent:   Tuesday, August 27, 1996 7:25 AM
Subject:        rental units

As we approach actually building the community at Liberty Village (MD)
subject of rental units is becoming more important.  At least one
wants to buy a unit and turn it into a rental.  We'd love to know more
people's experience with rental units.

What are the benefits/problems?

What commitments do tenants and landlords have to the community?

Any experience with rent/option to buy arrangements?

Are there any specifics that need to be included in a cohousing rental

Thanks for the info...

Jay Perry
Liberty Village
Libertytown, MD

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