rental policy in these economic times
From: Lisa Lackey (
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2011 14:27:27 -0800 (PST)
Hello cohousing-L-

I am writing from Nevada City cohousing, where we are discussing changing
our rental policy because of the economic down turn, and I am wondering if
there are any other communities that are also making changes or have
recently created one.


We created a rental agreement which made total sense in the economic climate
we were in at the time.  The goal is to have long term residents, which
seemed to equate to homeowners.  Because we understood that situations come
up where someone might need to rent temporarily, we allowed for up to 5
units out of 34 (15%) to be rented at a time, and the rental could only
extend for 2 years.  If the owner wanted to extend the rental for longer,
they needed to make a proposal to the Board.  The idea was to be able to
share the privilege to rent to everyone who wanted or needed to.  If someone
wanted to leave the community, then they should sell.


But, that was at a time when selling was fairly easy.  Now buyers are so
sparse, that it takes a while for the right person to come along.  People
can't afford to have their home sit vacant, and it is not helpful for the
community to have vacant homes.  Additionally, many young families with
children simply can't afford to buy these homes.  They would like to become
long term residents, but can only afford to rent.  However, the way our
policy is structured, they can only stay for 2 years without being asked to
move. if there are other households that would like to rent (& there are).


Some members of our community would like to up the number of rentals
possible and encourage the renters to become long term residents.  There is
some controversy as to how that might affect owners from getting mortgages
(our legal structure is a condominium, where the percentage of rentals
affects the ability to obtain mortgages).  People also worry how that will
affect community structure and resident commitment to maintaining the common
facilities.  Some people feel the rental percentage should stay at the 15%
level its now, others feel it should go to 20%, others think 30% would be
ideal and others think we should get rid of the limit and focus on
encouraging long term residence.


Is anyone else dealing with their rental policy now?


Thanks so much for all your help,


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