RE: Provision for Exclusion
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 21:21:25 -0500
If you want to have control over membership, them my advice is to setup you 
community as a cooperative rather than a condominium. Cooperative legal 
structures vary from place to place (check your state rules) but most have 
broad latitude in allowing restrictions on membership.

The drawback to cooperatives, is that in many areas, it more difficult to get 
bank financing (usually done as a group mortgage rather than individual 
mortgages. The other drawback is that you are jointly liable, which mean if 
one person doesn't pay their share, the other members have to pay it for them.

As far as removing members goes, check with an attorney in your state to get 
the best advice, and then draw up your removal conditions based on that 
advice. I know for Coops in WA, members can be removed although there is a 
process that has to be followed, including a legally recogized mediator, when 
the captial investment is over a certain dollar amount. 

Rob Sandelin
Forming Cedar Village Coop

From:   cohousing-l [at] on behalf of Nigel Nathan
Sent:   Monday, May 04, 1998 11:04 AM
Subject:        Provision for Exclusion

As our Amadea CoHousing project is fast approaching reality, it is time for
me to come out of the lurkers closet.

The trigger for this is a question from one of our members about something
we hope will never happen but against which we feel we need to be prepared.

We are setting up as a company limited by guarantee which will own the
freeehold of our property and the members will purchase the leasehold of
their unit and share of the commonhouse in what will be one integrated

Exclusion is not something to which we subscribe but it is possible to
envision circumstances - and I have heard horror stories of such happenings
- in which it is no longer appropriate or desirable for an individual or
family to be part of the community.  Instances could be an individual
becoming long-term psychotic, growing (teenage?) children becoming
unmanageable and disruptive.  If the individual(s) are in denial about
their behaviour it could well be beyond the capacity of the community to
mediate.  i.e. "Neighbours from Hell"

What contingencies/mechanisms could be built into the constitution and/or
leases to force the sale of a member's unit and the consequent separation
of the individual(s) from the community and how could the circumstances
under which this would happen be clearly defined?  Does anyone have
experience of such an instance and/or contingency safeguards?

Nigel Nathan
Reply to: <AmadeaCoHous [at]>
WebPage: "Community Living" at http:/
Amadea CoHousing Project
where we have acquired a 2.5 acre brownfield site in Silverton, Devon
subject to planning permission for a 20 unit structure
c/o 40 The Crescent, Earley, READING, RG6 7NN, U.K.
Tel: +44-(0)118-962-6882; Fax: +44-(0)118-966-8092

<nsquared [at]>
Nigel Nathan
40 The Crescent
Tel: +44-(0)118-962-6882
Fax: +44-(0)118-966-8092

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