Re: Fees for common space usage
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:09:42 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Allison,
   At Swans market we don’t charge for non profit use of our common house.  We 
do require a resident to sign up for any outside group and be in charge of 
seeing that our security and cleaning standards are adhered to.  We have had a 
couple of music concerts where donations were encouraged for the musicians.  We 
explicitly forbid the use of the common house by outsiders for profit making 
activities.  However various residents have held work related staff meetings in 
the common house. Forming communities have held meetings here and various 
organizations like the League of Women Voters.  We have had occasional sales of 
clothes by residents held in the common house.  We do have a professional 
masseuse come in once a month who sets up in our exercise room(Pre COVID-19) 
who charges below market rates for massages for members, which may seem 
contradictory but we see it as a special service for residents.  Family parties 
and private social gatherings of all sorts are encouraged and there is no 
charge.  We don’t see our Common house as a profit center but more like an 
extension of our living rooms. Of course only residents can reserve the common 
house. Oh and we also have had a person who cleans and details cars set up in 
our garage to work only on  residents cars and who was not charged.  All of 
this was discussed in our HOA before being approved. Flexibility and 
transparency is the name of the game.
   Our guest room policy is each household is allocated up to 3 free nights a 
year after which they are charged $10 per night for friends and family.  
Community guests (folks from other cohousing communities mostly) are charged 
$20 a night. All guests must have a resident host who greets them and sees that 
rules are explained and followed and any money collected.  No one can stay more 
than 10 days in a row.  We don’t want to be a hotel. The money is taxed and is 
used to cover utilities and laundry and upkeep and replacement costs for the 
guest room furnishings.  During COVID we don’t allow outside guests although 
one resident doing remodeling of their unit is currently sleeping there to 
avoid dust and paint fumes.
     No charge is made for the use of the workshop which is only used by 
residents or occasionally by contractors working on residents units.  Not 
available for outside community use, too many expensive tools which might go 
   Good luck and congratulations on getting close to move in when the real 
adventure begins.
Bonnie Fergusson
Swans Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 24, 2020, at 6:50 AM, David Bygott via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> wrote:
> Hi Allison,
> Here is what we do at Milagro Cohousing:
>>>> On Sep 16, 2020, at 4:17 PM, Allison Tom <allisonrtom [at]> 
>>>> wrote:
>>> Hello everyone,
>>> As we begin planning for our move in (May 2021, fingers crossed), members
>>> of my Cohousing community in North Vancouver are having discussions and
>>> disagreements about fees in the following circumstances.  I'd really
>>> appreciate hearing back from anyone who is willing to share information!
>>> How much, if anything, do you charge members or members' guests per night
>>> in the common guest room?
> We have no guest room
>>> How much, if anything, do you charge members who use common spaces for work
>>> or income earning meetings?
> No charge, but this situation rarely arises.
>>> How much, if anything, do you charge members who want to use the common
>>> house or other common areas to host a private social event (e.g., a family
>>> birthday party to which other cohousers are not invited)?
> No charge
>>> How much, if anything, do you charge members for use of the common shop
>>> space?
> No charge. Consumable supplies mostly covered by dues.
>>> How much, if anything, do you charge other Cohousing groups in the planning
>>> stages to use the common house or common spaces for hosting meetings and
>>> information sessions?
> No charge
>>> Any other information you might think of to share that I missed?
> If outside groups want to use common space for a meeting, eg environmental or 
> political groups whose values are compatible with ours, we might ask for a 
> donation but I think there is no set charge.
> David Bygott
> Milagro Cohousing, Tucson AZ
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