Proposal to Change Great Oak Master Deed

Finance & Legal 2011-12-19


F&L is asking for the community's approval to work with our attorney to incorporate changes into our Master Deed. Changes include:
* Buyers of units must fulfill certain requirements
* How to Sell Your Garage Usage Rights
* GCE/LCE Designations / clarifications described in a matrix / spreadsheet.


The Master Deed is a legal document that describes for condominium owners the property and related rights of each owner. In 2007,F&L brought to the community three proposed changes described in the proposal below. Over the course of 5 meetings, these changes were discussed and, in November of 2007, agreed upon. F&L is now bringing those
changes back to the community and asking for its approval to work with our
attorney to incorporate the changes into our Master Deed.


Great Oak Cohousing Association would like to make the following three
changes related to our Master Deed. These proposed changes will be sent to
GOCA's attorney, David Keast, to draft the amendments in legal language. The
attorney's drafts will be presented to the community for approval before
they are made final.

1. * Membership*

In order to buy into Great Oak and become a full member, a buyer must
fulfill the following requirements:

* Attend at least one community meeting

* Attend at least one social function or dinner

* Meet with a representative of the community (other than the seller)
to go over the Prospective Member Packet, the Bylaws, the Master Deed, and the
Book of Agreements, and to provide an occasion for the prospective buyer to
ask questions.

The Community may alter these requirements based individual circumstances
as necessary.

The seller has the legal obligation to include in their sales contract the contingency that the buyer shall become informed about cohousing and that the buyer
shall become a member, agreeing to abide by and uphold the Master Deed, Bylaws, and Book of Agreements.

The buyer shall have the right to rescind the contract if, after receiving
this information, s/he does not wish to join the community. The seller has
the obligation to rescind the sales contract if the buyer does not comply
with the contingency within four weeks (or a revised timeframe as specified
in the Book of Agreements) of signing the sales contract or prior to
closing, whichever comes first.

2. *Garage Usage Rights*

We have thus far lacked a process for tracking the transfer of ownership of
garages in a legal, official way. The Association needs to keep clear
records of garage ownership so we can communicate with owners as needed,
and to assign Reserve Fund fees accurately.

We would like to record in the Master Deed a description of the*
process*for transferring ownership.
Each time a garage changes hands, this will be recorded with Scio Township.
We would like to add this process to the Master Deed:

*How to Sell Your Garage Usage Rights*

Owners wishing to sell their garage usage rights must do the following:

1. Arrange the sale with another owner in the community.

2. If the garage usage rights are listed on the owner's mortgage, get
permission from the lender to sell the garage usage rights.

2. Fill out the Reassignment of Limited Common Element Form. <>

3. Submit this form to the treasurer (F&L Convener).

4. A member of F&L will take the form to Scio Township to record the

5. F&L will provide both parties with a copy of the reassignment record,
and will notify the community of the reassignment.

We also want to amend the Deed to state explicitly that garage usage rights
*cannot be transferred to a non-owner.***

* *

3. *GCE/LCE Designations*

* *

The original Master Deed is unclear or even self-contradicting in some
sections related to LCE/GCE. To reduce the legal risk that this could
cause for Great Oak we want to:

a. Clear up ambiguity and mistakes in the original Master Deed.

b. Make the attached LCE/GCE matrix legally binding in the most
cost-effective manner, that allows maximum ease when making changes later.

The LCE/GCE matrix is attached. The basic matrix was approved by the
community in November, 2007. Since then, there have been a few minor
changes, which are noted in pink.

*Pros: *

1) Membership section will provide greater protection for the cohousing
concept of our community by requiring new members to understand and commit
to existing Great Oak Cohousing Association agreements before purchasing a

2) Garage Usage Rights section will provide a process for legally recording
garage usage rights, and will protect the community from outside entities
purchasing/owning our garages.

3) Provides clearer language for LCE/GCE responsibilities.


1) Will cost money for an attorney to create legal language for the

2) Will likely make it harder to revise community agreements related to

Process Comments:

No strong concern, no stand-asides, no blocks. Proposal is accepted.