RE: I never join a club that would have me for a member...
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2001 08:19:09 -0600 (MDT)
I have been told, and have seen that before you actually own real estate and
have titles your organization can be as selective as it wants to in regards
to individuals. I have known cohousing groups that had a membership
acceptance process in the startup phases. You can set up a simple process
where the existing membership must approve any new members. Might want to
have a majority vote fall back on this because
selection can get dicey when three people all want to buy the final home and
you have to choose between three wonderful folks.

It is a good idea to have a clearing process, where behaviors that are
offensive can be talked about and the situation illuminated. It is easy to
prejudice yourself about a person based on very little real interaction and
a pushy opinionated personality may be unaware that those labels are being
applied to them and that it is hurting their relationships. For example, I
have met  folks that grew up in a large and loud family, where yelling at
each other is the norm and no hard feelings are taken from it. Obviously
this can blow other people entirely out of the water. So discussing these
differences can lead to some good learning places.

Once you have real estate involved, you can no longer place restrictions in
most circumstances. The banks generally do not accept any limitations on the
sale of property and do not allow membership approvals.

Rob Sandelin
Community Works!

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Jeanne Goodman
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2001 10:39 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_I never join a club that would have me for a member...

Namaste All,

This is Jeanne Goodman of the Jamaica Plain Cohousing group in
Massachusetts. A member of our Business Committee brought up a really good
point that I thought you might be able to helps us out with. Please keep in
mind this is hypothetical.

What should we do if someone wants to join the community and we don't like
the individual? Apparently there was one group that was almost pulled apart
because someone wanted to join who was very demanding, opinionated and

We have been advised that this is a self-selecting process and those kind of
members would probably drop out on their own, but we thought it best to have
a proactive, fall-back solution in case this does not happen.

Should we have a selection committee? Are there any legal ramifications
associated with rejections?
What are some of your experiences of things we should avoid doing?

Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated.

Jeanne (jgoodman [at]

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