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A new cohousing guide for individuals

29 April 2024

What are the key issues to consider when thinking about joining a cohousing community?

The notion of living in a community that is designed and managed by its members, with shared spaces to meet and socialise, to grow food and engage in leisure activities is increasing in popularity. Cohousing delivers these opportunities and there are numerous examples of successful established groups in the UK. 

The forced isolation of the recent pandemic has proved something of a catalyst for new groups to form, motivated by a desire to enjoy a more connected living experience. The move to more working from home and less commuting for work appears to be here to stay and is an interesting social development that has made many people think more closely about having more of a say about their living arrangements and achieving a work / life balance and a more sustainable lifestyle.

At Wrigleys, our specialist community-led housing team has been working with and advising cohousing groups for well over a decade. In our experience, whilst no two groups are ever quite the same in shape, size and ethos, there are some common issues to think about. 

Our new guide, produced in partnership with UK Cohousing, seeks to address the key questions that prospective members should be thinking about and asking of the groups they are considering joining. 

The guide summarises the different roles and responsibilities that members of cohousing groups will be taking on. It also touches on the issues that they need to consider when investing in a cohousing community project, whether that is investing financially or purchasing a property within a cohousing scheme. 

The guide also provides a quick summary of the differences between becoming a member and taking on the role of an appointed officer within a cohousing group. 

UK Cohousing’s CEO, Owen Jarvis welcomed the new guide, commenting 

“We are delighted to support this guidance from Wrigleys which helps meet the demand for advice we see from people considering cohousing. Cohousing offers a wonderful, sociable way to live created through the participation of residents in the life and management of their neighbourhoods. Whilst sharing common characteristics, each cohousing scheme will be unique, and we recommend each person or family carries out their due diligence as outlined in this guide, before moving in. In addition, given the highly social nature of cohousing, we advise paying attention to the quality of a community’s decision making, problem resolution and diversity policies to ensure they align with your own values and expectations. By using this guidance, we believe you will be in a great position to find the right cohousing community for you.” 

At Wrigleys Solicitors, we hope that this new guide will help address any questions that people considering joining a cohousing community may have. Cohousing can be a wonderful opportunity to live in a collaborative community environment but it is helpful to understand the legal background underpinning it all. 

You can access a copy of the Cohousing - a guide for individuals here and don’t forget to register for our community-led housing newsletters to keep up to date with our latest news stories too. 

And of course, if you have specific legal advice requirements about cohousing, please do contact the team

 

 
 
Emma Ridge View Biography

Emma Ridge

Partner
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