Participation Agreement
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 09:48:55 -0700 (PDT)
In general I think that ya' gotta get people to buy in at the very beginning to the notion that the residents--all of them, not just owners--agree to take responsibility for both managing and maintaining the community. Some communities have a participation agreement. I'm attaching ours (Swan's Market Cohousing, Oakland, CA) that is technically voluntary, but there is an expectation that people will sign it.

It's better if it is presented to people before ar at the time they become members of the group, way before construction. (I was "required" to sign it when I first joined the group at Doyle Street Cohousing where I used to live, before that group realized that they couldn't legally make it mandatory.) I initiated having one at Swan's Market where I live now after we had lived here a year or two, and not everyone signed it, though most did. (I've posted about this before, and asked people to contact me to have me send it to them, but since it is short, I'm appending it here.)

Swan's Market Cohousing

Participation Agreement

[Note:  Signing this agreement is voluntary, and it is not legally binding]

I live (or plan to live) in the Swan's Market Cohousing community. I am aware of the nature, goals, character and history of Swan's Market Cohousing and I intend to maintain and enhance its sense of community and cooperation.

If I lease or sell my unit, my tenant(s) or buyer(s) will be offered an orientation and encouraged to sign this participation agreement. I support the Community's aim of cooperative living; I agree to participate in activities of the Community on a regular basis, as follows:

1. Management of our community through the Homeowners Association. I will play an ongoing role in the Association (and, if an owner, I will serve on the Board of Directors). I understand that if I want to have a say in the decision-making process, it is my responsibility to participate in Association meetings.

2. Preparation of common meals. I understand that every adult resident (18 or older) shares equally in the preparation and/or clean-up of common meals on a rotating basis. I intend to do my share, regardless of how frequently I sign up to eat those meals.

3. Maintenance and improvement of the community property. Swan's Market cohousing self-manages and maintains its property. In order to keep our property in the best condition possible, I agree to do my share of the ongoing maintenance of the common areas

Signed:_________________________________  Unit #_________


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