Re: Renting in Cohousing
From: Kathleen Walsh (
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2021 12:03:17 -0700 (PDT)
Zev--what do the agreements around participating in activities beyond those
considered essential to "lodging" say about requirements for residents to
engage in them?  Does joining a meal require agreeing to pay for each meal
consumed, for example?  Or use of certain facilities involve commitment to
maintaining them or a fee?  Unless such agreements distinguish between
renters and owners as having specific and separate privileges to enjoy
community benefits the owner controls, no single renter should be denied
recognition as "a member" by the owner for personal reasons, not
community-based expectations.

A renter/owner relationship includes inherent power inequity by
definition.  Generally, the values of an intentional community would
mitigate against unfair advantage in this situation.

The rental agreement used in my community specifically assigns the decision
to share allotted "guest room" use to the owner.  There are a specific
number of nights residents of any unit can access the privilege of
reserving "nights"  In theory, the owner does not have to share them, but
this decision must be clearly communicated to the renter.

I am unaware of any refusal to share use of this privilege in my community,
but it could happen.

I disagree with the policy to assign "allotments", but that's another story.

This sounds like a unresolved conflict the "private owners" need help
with.  I think many of us can sympathize with the desire for privacy, but
they have a responsibility to communicate their needs to their housemate in
a caring way that supports healthy boundary-setting between their
authority  and the lodger's autonomy, as well as acknowledging the inherent
power imbalance.

Good luck with this...

Kathleen Walsh

On Fri, Jul 30, 2021, 9:32 AM Zev Paiss <zevpaiss [at]> wrote:

> Friends,
> I realize I need to add a bit of clarity. The. Renter in this situation is
> renting the lower level of a home we here the owners live in the rest of
> the house. Most of the comments here are around requirements of potential
> renters.
> What I was asking is if anyone has experienced residents who rent out a
> portion of their home to someone who the residents do not want them to
> participate in community activities. The renter in question would love to
> participate but are being stopped or simply not informed by the resident
> owners due to privacy issue for themselves.
> Zev
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