Re: New Member Screening
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 07:39:35 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Tom and all —

If you are organized as a condominium you cannot by law restrict a sale or 
resale.   It’s private property owned by an individual and a homeowner has the 
right to sell to whomever he/she wishes. (Exceptions:  race, religion, creed.)

However … there are some steps a cohousing condo CAN do to increase the 
likelihood of a “good match” between the buyer and the community.  I will be 
presenting a workshop on this very thing at the upcoming CohoUS conference in 
Durham in just another 12 days or so.  Please join the discussion as I show how 
at Takoma Village we articulated and modified our resale process, developed a 
pool of qualified buyers, enriched our orientation of new members and in the 
process substantially turned around our workshare participation by members.  
We’re much, much better at helping people decide if they are a “match” for 
living in our community.   In just over a year, we’ve also brought in more than 
$20,000 in contributions to the community by sellers grateful to have our team 
help them w/ the resale of their home.  These contributions are being used to 
fund our new solar installation.  It’s a win-win for everyone!

The session is from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on Saturday. It’s titled:

How Our Resale and Rental Team Rebooted Workshare, Reinvigorated Our Community 
and Raised $15,000 for Capital Improvements

(we’ve raised another $5K since I submitted the proposal!)

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

On May 18, 2015, at 9:42 AM, Tom Smyth <tom [at]> wrote:

> Hello.
> Do any cohos have methods of screening prospective buyers? Are there legal
> ways to refuse someone? On what grounds?
> How do cohos with waiting lists manage new buyers? Are there waiting lists?
> Can the association have any say over who sells to who?
> I'm unclear on how much clout the bylaws can have over all of this and
> where state law would override.
> Thanks.
> -- 
> Tom Smyth
> Worker-Owner, Sassafras Tech Collective
> Specializing in innovative, usable tech for social change
> *·* @sassafrastech
> Resident, Touchstone Cohousing

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