Re: Participation Agreement
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 21:27:28 -0700 (PDT)
One way to set up participation is to bill everybody a monthly maintenance
fee, then refund it to those who do whatever the work requirement is. That
way, those that do not, pay more, and the money can then be used to hire
outside help for bigger or less desirable maintained tasks. 

Rob Sandelin

-----Original Message-----
From: mbarrett [mailto:mbarrett [at]] 
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:04 PM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Participation Agreement

I see a couple of  possible problems in including specific "cohousing
requirements" into condo bylaws as David reports.
1) Lenders such as banks, and insurance companies are generally very
conservative and if they should get to read "strange" stuff they may turn
you down.
2) Rquirements are essentially meaningless unless they are enforceable i.e. 
backed up by sanctions.  Are you going to evict non-compliant residents - or
We have recently drafted a document titled "Expectations, Hopes and
Opportunities" to give to prospective residents which at least makes clear
what we expect and hope for, though without any legal muscle.

Michael Barrett
Shadowlake Village,
Blacksburg, VA   - from whence last weekend about 20 adults and 22 children 
went camping together for two nights in a State Park in the Appalachian

------ Original Message -----
From: "David Heimann" <heimann [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Participation Agreement

> Hello,
>  We have a lot of what's included in this agreement in our bylaws,
> i.e., it is required rather than voluntary.
>  A buyer must go through an orientation and sign a statement that
> they have done so, understand what the community is about, and agree to
> abide by the condo docs (which include a good amount of cohousing-oriented
> clauses).
>  With respect to (1) and (3), residents are *required* to
> participate in General Meetings and committee meetings, and to participate
> in the maintenance of the property (i.e., a work requirement).
>  This probably has to be done during development and be
> incorporated into the condo docs.  At least that's what we did.
>  All the best in incorporating this participation!
> Regards,
> David Heimann
> Jamaica Plain Cohousing
> Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 09:50:57 -0700
> From: Joani Blank <joani [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Participation Agreement
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Message-ID: < [at]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 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 #_________
> Date:_________________
> _________________________________________________________________
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