RE: Questions about cohousing experiences with rentals
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 10:17:01 -0600 (MDT)
At Sharingwood we have 10 renting adults and 43 unit owners living in 21
homes. The rentals are built spaces within existing homes. The home owner
selects the renters, the community has no input other than referring people
that have expressed an interest. Landlords often choose to rent for
financial reasons, to help them cover their mortgage costs. This sets up a
dynamic which is hard to get past. While landlords may want to find
community interested people, getting the rent covered is in some cases the
first priority.

We revamped our rental agreement a  few years ago, with a specific caveat
that we are looking for people who are "vitally interested" in community. We
set that expectation up with the hope that landlords would search for and
find people who participate in the community because they want to.

This, in my opinion has failed. In terms of renter participation, 4
participate very little, 4 participate a great  deal and 2 sort of off and
on. My personal desire is to have all 10 renters in the participate a great
deal category. 2 of the renters do not participate at all. I would like to
remove these 2 people from our midst.

The thing that is missing from our rental agreement is community overview of
participation expectations. If I could be in charge of this, I would have a
quarterly review of renters, and those that prove themselves to be not
"vitally interested" in the community, would be given a notice and if their
participation did not increase, would be given notice to leave.

Rob Sandelin
In the wilds of Snohomish County, WA

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