Re: Rental Policies & Tenant Participation
From: Thomas Lofft (
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 05:13:04 -0800 (PST)
Diana Carroll dianaecarroll@gmail.comwrote; 
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Do you wish you had a rental policy?

"One view is that adult tenants should have the same rights and duties as
adult owners, and be integrated into community life as fully as possible.
 An alternative view is that it's very hard for an owner to find a good
tenant ? and would much harder if the landlord imposed cohousing
expectations on the pool of candidates."
Maybe it's because our community is in a semi-rural area but our experience
is that most renters who move here do so in large part -because- it's
cohousing. There are other places they could choose to rent, but usually
they actively desire to live in our community and are therefore as likely
to partipate in community as owner residents.
I'm relieved that so far we have had nothing but positive experiences with
renters. We do have a rental policy but it's really non restrictive, and
mostly centers around getting the renters integrated into the community.
Mosaic Commons in beautiful Berlin, MA One of the very serious concerns that 
lenders have about high rental rates in owner predominant communities is the 
perceived loss of value to prospective buyers (in the event that a lender has 
to take title through foreclosure and in due course resell a property) due to a 
high rental ratio. Renters are always perceived as transient, non-invested, 
non-contributing to maintenance, repair and renovation, and ready to move on a 
whim. Justifiably or not, not all renters meet those criteria, but more do than 
don't.  Another serious issue may arise if a cohousing community allows tenants 
to participate in decision making that affects the community operating costs.  
In a worst case, a majority of tenants may obtain fixed rate, long term rental 
agreements with naive owners, and if allowed to participate in budget 
determinations, compel the Association to provide benefits to tenants as a 
class that will then pass on tenant benefit costs directly to owners who are 
obligated to pay the Association assessments upon which the tenants have been 
allowed to force a decision.  The only thing worse than spending time 
considering 'worst cases' which have a very low possibility of ever happening 
is to have them happen.
 Tom LofftLiberty Village, MD                                     
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