Re: HOA delivering services to a subset of members
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 05:17:28 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 17, 2004, at 11:20 PM, <normangauss [at]> wrote:

Does anyone know of any precedents in which an HOA has been engaged to
deliver services to a subset of a cohousing community?

This question is different than the next one. This question concerns equitable attention to all portions of the community. One portion may need attention to brick work, or example, because they have brick work and no one else does. Children might be receiving more attention to develop play space. This is an HOA members decision about allocation of funds.

In such a case, it
appears to me that the HOA is engaging in a non-profit business or acting as an agent for only a portion of the community. [snip] Is the HOA obligated to distribute financial statements on the business side of the operations that are separate from the community financial statements

Look at your legal incorporation papers. They will have a description of the legal activities of the corporation. This restricts what the association can legally do. You may also need to look at other laws for your state and city. For example, we are incorporated as a condominium in DC and the condominium law states what a condominium is and what it can do and must do. It specifies our legal responsibilities. If we were to allow neighbors to become members to use our workshop or participate in meal programs, we would be functioning outside our mandate -- these are not normal activities of a condominium association. We would have to operate these activities under a separate legal entity because there are laws that govern those kinds of activities. You can't avoid the law by saying you are a condominium and then run a restaurant. Or say you are a condominium and run rent table saws to non-residents.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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