Re: policies for renting units
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2016 09:23:07 -0700 (PDT)
> On Sep 8, 2016, at 5:09 PM, Kathy Tymoczko <kathy.tymoczko [at]> 
> wrote:
> We're wondering what kinds of policies other communities have and how you
> handle the above situations.

It’s important to have time limits on rentals. We have had wonderful renters so 
the issue is opposite of negative experience with renters.

You have wonderful renters who want to buy a unit and could afford it, but the 
owner is making more money by renting than by selling. An owner in our 
neighborhood can make $1,000 a month by renting. Rents have skyrocketed.

The problem is that it is a precarious position for renters and neighbors. I 
happen to live in a row of 4 units with unusual mobility. Two have been stable. 
In 16 years, one has been sold or rented 4 times. Another has been rented for 3 
years twice. For the first three years 3 different families lived there. One 
did not speak English or participate in the community. For the second of those 
3 year periods, one family has occupied the unit and has wanted to buy it. In  
my opinion the owner has held on to the unit for the income. The owner has no 
intention of returning. 

This creates an awkward position for neighbors. We want them to stay but have 
no control over the situation. The owner could return at any time and boost 
them out. Push turns to shove. What will resolve the situation is that the 
owner will run up against the 3 year limit. It could be extended for good cause 
but there isn’t one in this case.

We did have extensions during the housing crisis and no one could sell. It made 
sense to extend leases.

But to have renters whose situation is precarious, is not comfortable. This 
owner who is now working in Asia also had 6-7 roommates in the second bedroom. 
I feel as if I live next to an AirBnB. That isn’t what I expected when I moved 
into cohousing. It’s a unique case but unique cases can become the norm.

Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park
In Washington DC, Where all roads lead to Casablanca

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