RE: management companies
From: Eileen McCourt (
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 16:40:33 -0700 (MST)
Hi, I am a member of Oak Creek Commons Cohousing, which is a work in
progress in Paso Robles, CA.  I currently live in a condo and am on the
board of directors as treasurer for my Homeowners' Association.  In the
condo development where I live, we use a management company.  Even in a
conventional condo type of association, all of the power that the management
company has comes directly from the homeowners' association.  The management
company does not make rules about restrictions, or how the property can be
used.  These rules come from the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
(CC&Rs) that govern the homeowners' association.

As a board member, I meet every month with the management firm
representative, along with the other board members and any homeowners who
wish to attend.  (All homeowners are notified of the time and place of these
meetings, and are invited to attend.) All decisions are made jointly during
these regular monthly meetings.  The management company has both breadth and
depth of experience in a variety of multi-family developments and serves as
a consultant to the homeowners' association.  They also provide continuity
of management and record keeping.

I don't see any reason why this arrangement would not work in a cohousing
group.  There could be an interface with the management company.  That
liaison could communicate the community decisions to the management company,
and have periodic meetings where the management company comes in and reports
directly to the entire community.  The homeowners, in this case, the
cohousing group, directly control the creation and enforcement of the CC&RS.

In the meantime, the management company takes care of paying all the bills,
managing and investing the reserves (per the directions of the homeowners),
handling insurance claims, getting bids for maintenance, gardening services,
and capital upgrades to the property, and so forth.   I think it's a good
way to leverage the time and availability of community members so they can
participate in community responsibilities that interest them.  If nobody is
interested in managing the business end of the homeowners' association, get
a management company to do all the routine stuff.  You still make all the
decisions.  Any you will be able to focus on community building, not


emccourt [at]
phone    650-691-1195
fax         650-691-0195
mobile   650-766-0889

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l [at] [mailto:cohousing-l [at]]On
Behalf Of Kay Argyle
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 10:57 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: management companies

Have any cohousing communities had experience with using a property
management company?  Our management committee is feeling in over its head
and wants to hire one to deal with finances, insurance, taxes, repairs,
capital improvement funds, and various other issues.  We're legally set up
as condominiums.

A resident who owns condo elsewhere, which has been through three different
management companies in the decade she's owned it, is concerned about this
proposal -- for one thing, because of the degree of control a management
company exercises.  Her rental condo has a balcony which is almost unusable
because of the restrictions -- no window boxes, no bikes, no barbecues, no
smoking, no this no that no nothing, all for insurance reasons.  She asked
me to solicit experience and/or advice from other communities.

Wasatch Commons

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