Re: renter and resale policies
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 17:24:02 -0700 (PDT)
At 05:10 PM 5/31/2006, Gina Cruse wrote:

Can we require prospectives to attend a meeting and
meal before they make a decision about renting or buying?

The COA/HOA cannot require prospective renters or buyers to do anything. BUT you can invite/expect every current owner to sign some sort of agreement in which they agree not to sell or rent to someone who is not willing to "participate." In our participation agreement, that just about all owners signed it says that the signer understands that the maintenance and management of the community are done by community members and "I agree to do my share." It also says that I agree to participate in the preparation of common meals which is structured separately from all other work in the community.

Not included in the participation agreement described above, we have an informal agreement that if we sell our units, we will insist that prospective buyers come to at least one common meal--preferably two, plus a meeting, a workday or both.

(In the first community I was in that had a similar agreement, I was asked to sign it as a condition of becoming a member of the group; this was before our group had moved in and become an HOA.)

I do recommend that folks in cohousing try to avoid using the word "require" and "requirements" and start using "expect" and "expectations" especially when explaining cohousing to a prospective buyer or renter.This feels much more like explaining an aspect of the community culture unique to your community, much less like telling him or her what the "rules" are, with the implication that there are specific, perhaps even dire, consequences for violating those rules. Yuk!

Can we require  people
to be on a team or contribute in some way to our community?

How about expecting it from the get-go.

Joani Blank
Swan's Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA

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