Re: Do you wish you had a rental policy?
From: Dave and Diane (
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 04:44:35 -0800 (PST)
Here is the rental policy from our bylaws.

Diane Simpson
outreach facilitator
jp cohousing  Boston, MA
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"The people who surround you define the quality of your life."


Section 15.1 Limitations on Renting

The Association supports having renters and guests in our community, but discourages long term absentee ownership (i.e., longer than one year) in order to foster an owner-occupied and stable community. The percentage of units owned by absentee owners shall not exceed a percentage to be set by the Association, unless the Association grants a waiver, which can be withheld for reasonable cause. The initial percentage is set at 30%. The specific procedures for renting are specified in this Article.

The Association supports having renters and guests in our community. It fosters diversity and offers an affordable way to experience cohousing living. The Association encourages renters to participate and feel included as members of the community; however, it is the unit owner who is ultimately responsible for the renter. The community encourages unit owners to seek long term renters from the Association waiting list or renters who are interested in Cohousing. The Association discourages long term absentee owners (i.e., longer than one year) in order to foster a stable community. We wish to avoid units to be used as investment properties by absentee owners. .


Guest (or visitor): Someone who intends to stay less than 60 days. We invite guests to fully participate in community life, but this is not a requirement. Owner members are responsible for their guests. Guests must still abide by Association policies (i.e., smoking, pets, etc.).

Renter: A renter is someone who intends to stay more than 60 days and pays rents to the Unit Owner:.

Unit Owner (“Owner”) : The person(s) whose name(s) is on the deed as the actual owner(s) of the unit in JP Cohousing.

Non-Owner Resident: An adult member living with the owner member who does not pay rent. This would include family, significant others, elders, friends who stay longer than 60 days.

Policy as it Relates to the Unit Owners:

Owner will give the Association advanced notification of the plan to rent. Owner cannot carry out an absentee rental of more than one year, whether to a single tenant or a series of tenants, without the approval of the Association for each year beyond the first. If an absentee rental, Owner will designate another Unit Owner to oversee the management of the rental unit. Owner is required to have a written rental agreement with a renter staying longer than 60 days. The agreement will include a rider that the renter has familiarity with and agreement to abide by our Association policies, bylaws, rules, and regulations. (These will be summarized in a Renter's Guide.) Owner is responsible to perform orientation for the Renter that includes education on Association policies, bylaws, rules, and regulations (includes living there issues), consensus, and the general culture of this cohousing community. Owner is responsible for the work hours of additional adults in the household (renters or non-owner members). Owner will be responsible for supplying the renter with keys to the Common House and to the unit, as well as the return of the keys at the end of the rental.

Policy as it Relates to the Renters:

Renter is expected and strongly encouraged to become community members and participate in community activities. Renter is encouraged to attend general membership and committee meetings regularly, but this is not mandatory. Renter has all the rights and responsibilities of an Owner, except that they:
cannot block consensus
will not participate in making decisions on expenditures of money or capital improvements
will not have to pay for capital improvements
Every adult Renter will make arrangements with his/her Owner regarding her/his work requirements. Every adult household member is required to do four hours of work per month. That is, if an Owner has a roommate, the Owner may make the roommates do the additional four hours or the Owner may choose to do eight hours and charge the Renter more per month. This is up to the Owner, but JP Cohousing encourages the renter to participate in the work responsibilities to foster a sense of community. Renter will be oriented by the Owner. Renter will read the Renter's Guide and sign a rider in the renter's agreement that states that he/she will abide by these policies, bylaws, rules, and regulations.

Policy as it Relates to the Non-Owner Residents:

All policies for renters apply to Non-Owner Residents, with the exception of the rental agreement requirement. If the Non-Owner Resident has limitations on their abilities, work requirement exceptions will be considered.

Policy as it Relates to the Community:

If any member has an objection to or conflict with a renter, they should discuss concerns with the Owner and with the Renter. If the objections cannot be resolved by discussion, any member may take the issue to the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Committee (CPR). If the Owner fails to act and the renter consistently does not abide by the Association’s policies, bylaws, rules, and regulations, then the community may take legal action. The Association will establish a committee to review the status of rentals at least on an annual basis or more frequently if needed and make recommendations to be considered by the community. The committee will also create an easy to follow Renter's Guide. Obviously there will be exceptions to the policy, and the committee may propose other rental arrangements for approval by the community.

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