Re: recruitment screening and rentals
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:53:39 -0700 (PDT)
I am guessing that by "rental suites", you are referring to members who, in 
addition to the unit they will occupy themselves, also want to build and own 
one or more units that they will rent to others.

On the whole, America is somewhat over-wrought with prejudices about ownership 
= good, tenancy = problems, or failure.  It should not be surprising that 
national tenant-phobia translates into the cohousing culture.  I personally 
think that rental units have roles to play in a healthy cohousing community.  
Nonetheless, be prepared for issues of taxation, of eventual absentee 
landlords, and of second-class citizen politics that may attend the rental 
presence.  Diversity is almost always harder than uniformity, and that applies 
to modes of tenure as well.

I have no idea how to screen for future problem neighbors -- or how to predict 
which candidates will eventually mesh with the cohousing lifestyle.  At 
Cornerstone, we have some newcomer tenants who are among our most engaged 
participants, and some owner-founders who have dropped out of the picture.  Go 


Sent from my iPad

On Mar 13, 2013, at 1:42 PM, matt lowe <mattwglowe [at]> wrote:

> Hi there fellow Cohousers,
> We're in the process of buiding a cohousing community and developing
> policies.  We are stumped on a few things:
> 1)  When recruiting new members, how best to screen for potential problem
> members?  In other words how do we try to identify a person who would be a
> problem member and respectfully deny their application?
> 2)  Some of our members want to build rental suites.  Rentals can reduce
> the financial burden on the members and allow them to invite family members
> to move in.  On the flip side, rentals use community resources and provide
> a financial advantage for only some of the community members.  What do you
> recomment here?
> Matt, Nelson Land Group
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