collective live+work spaces
for people going places with purpose

Your Questions

If you've not yet seen the general introduction, best read it first. If you're new to the coliving movement, check the fundamentals of what coliving is, and read Outsite's excellent introduction, they operate many properties in interesting locations in a similar vein as we intend to, although we're of course doing it with a resilient mutualised co-ownership model…

The principles outlined here are not final and must be ratified by the founding members, in the form of the co-operative's rules and member's contract. Thus may be subject to change in order to gain their approval. If you pledge you may join as a founding member.

All the questions

How to get involved

What kind of people are welcomed? We're a community of knowledge and skill oriented professionals. If you've something you're learning, working on, or helping others to learn, especially if you're passionate about it, you'll fit in. One of our few collective values is diversity, and to achieve that we must be inclusive — providing it doesn't affect our ability to work on our own projects.

We thus welcome any age or occupation that fits with this, including kids and pets at times. But if you're a chainsaw wood sculptor or just had quintuplets that would be problematic. 🧐 We'd always recommend you seek something that might better suit you. Nonetheless most properties should have enough spaces for you to setup an easel and paint in quiet or bash out code—in some cases even whilst others partake in an intense karaoke session.

What are the goals for the project?

Through ownership, to provide affordable accommodations with workspace, for professionals, especially location independent — supporting diverse members within an ecosystem and network of such spaces, creating rewarding connections between us, both personally and professionally.

Socially

Our aim is not that of an intentional community in which everyone has the same intent organised around something specific, but rather for everyone to pursue their lives purposefully with diverse interests and approaches — getting outside the bubble. Wherein more of our intents may align, enabling members to share experiences and collaborate, amplifying our capabilities in new endeavours. Intentional groups will form amongst us within and supported by a more diverse diaspora than one finds with more typically singular intentional communities. We align closely with the approach of The Collective outlined in this interview, and support the Conscious Coliving Manifesto.

Spaces could however be hosted within intentional communities having a specific focus (e.g. a permaculture ecovillage) yet which support our open values for their visitors.

Financially

As co-owners, we of course benefit from the mutualised use of our own properties at cost. Yet with our multi-stakeholder model, in which we sell part of the project stake to investors (whom should ideally be ourselves), we benefit from enhanced facilities built with their support too.

Expanding this concept into a network means any other projects that participate, will permit our use also at (or near) cost, as all co-owners may exchange their time amongst the whole network providing great freedom. Each project collective remains independent, setting their own exchange rates, allowing each to adapt to circumstances, such as to adjust their model and change their capacity allocations of ownership and rentals.

Some properties may be owned by a single co-operative, others may be commercial or independent. The Village 3.0 foundational message is strongly aligned.

Functionally

Our core model is based around multiple types of property of differing sizes serving broad community and individual uses, larger properties having reliable transit within walking distance, whilst smaller ones may be more rural and in harder to reach locations. Most will have a communal minibus.

Other properties with only one price bracket or service level are not inclusive, and this is an important value, so we shall provide a span of accommodation types as each property allows, from the most affordable pods, to more exclusive studios. This way we're all included together whatever our means and preferences.

We particularly want to support escaping from cities without being disconnected from dynamism, a middle path. None of the properties would be so large that you loose the feeling of being in a welcoming space in which you can get to know your fellow members and visitors alike, yet most would be still large enough that they remain ever interesting and full of ideas…

The common spaces properties provide include:

As an ecosystem

Into the future, providing demand is maintained, we will add additional properties.

  1. if the first is a satellite, then a minihub or vice-versa
  2. a non-EU satellite, e.g. Turkey or Georgia
  3. a multigenerational hub

Model

What are the core principles?

How does it function as a social enterprise?

Equity in the form of shares is split between investors (motivated by financial returns) and users (motivated by use and community). The allocation corresponds to bookable capacity. As investors don't gain use, the surplus capacity they represent becomes rentals at market rates generating revenue for both our investors and our community. Furthermore this capacity dynamises a community that is only otherwise owner-members by introducing new blood.

How are interests between the different stakeholders balanced?

The two groups, on the face of it, have conflicting interests. Users expect affordable use of a property for the long-term, which naturally does not encourage the generation of any revenue surplus (leading to a tragedy of the commons due to under investment). Investors expect a financial return, both ongoing, and potentially one-off which may incentivise resource allocation towards more expensive rentals or even the sale of the property.

Sale (divestment) is mitigated due to a larger proportion of user-members (around two-thirds), thus as long as the property is useful to them, any attempt to sell is unlikely.

Revenue generation is incentivised by virtue that a share of profit surplus is placed into our community fund, used to improve facilities and experiences, in turn also increasing value of rentals. Investors receive dividends on their preference shares from the rentals before the community fund, therefore there is an incentive to generate adequate revenue above and beyond this to not only pay those dividends, but make improvements for everyone.

How is use guaranteed?

All shares have correspondance to capacity, yet investor (preference) shares do not include use, therefore by issuing these we ensure the corresponding proportion of available capacity to provide booking flexibility for coliving shareholders to choose their preferred dates.

Coliving shares give use for their holding's proportion of capacity represented as market rates (retail cost), to use as they please, at-cost.

Bookable capacity is thus not only greater and correspondingly more flexilble — by the percentage held by investors, but also for seasonality differences and retained units.

This model permits market-driven adjustment of unit values (e.g. following refits and changes in distribution or specification, market changes, seasonality and demand) based upon the retail market rates. Capacity changes only if units are created or removed, or seasonality is adjusted, so use thus remains proportional to share ownership based upon the market rates. This also permits every unit to have individual rates.

Management may from time to time reccommend changes for the members to vote upon, e.g. if demand for studios is increasing a price hike may be proposed as this will generate additional revenue for the community fund, however it will also reduce the time members get when staying in those units whilst increasing time in the others, similarly if demand for pods is low, the rate may be reduced giving members more time in them — but always proportional to capacity.

Share use is given preference for advance bookings with most of the rental capacity held back for bookings no sooner than three months in advance. Worst case scenario, there are also pods for overlaps until a room becomes available.

Obviously certain times of year will be more popular than others, seasonal rates in combination with advance booking is the simplest solutio to this, however as some capacity is kept back until under 3 months, those whom do not or cannot book further in advance also get chance. Furthermore use is credited on a rolling basis therefore there is no rush to be first to book when everybody gets their use credit (except the first year).

How is financial resilience for future costs handled?

We don't want to use bets against markets, real estate lifecycles, nor favour investment returns in the long-run realised by simple divestment.

Many 'lifestyle' coliving spaces are operated by a single owner or their partners, whom are the fallback for issues, and will fund repairs etc. Assuming they've allowed for it. In the Hub House model we are the owners. We should avoid shared ownership models in which future costs are raised only when needed.

We therefore shall utilise a maintenance fund which minimises issues, disagreements and surprise costs, albeit at the expense of moderately increased monthly contributions. See membership contributions.

What kind of corporate body will own and operate the property?

A Co-operative Society registered in England and limited by shares. If you're interested in why not a Community Interest Company, this article explains issues with their long-term resilience, whilst a co-operative more fairly balances stakeholder voting.

The society's rules use a multi-stakeholder model inspired by FairShares, but removes most decision making from the board in favour of direct shareholder votes, further upholding the co-operative principles and reduces complexity by eliminating hierarchy and bureaucracy, albeit at the cost of requiring members to be more involved in decisions.

Votes and meetings will be done online, so all stakeholders can have their say wherever they are. Note that votes on matters that are day-to-day will prevent those whom are not actively utilising the co-operative, from particpating.

Why register the corporate body in the UK?

We're an international group of members, and we need transparency into our own governance. If we were to incorporate in a non-English speaking country, very few of us would be able to verify our own rules, and we'd always be needing official translations. There are certainly other English using countries (e.g. Ireland) however their legislation is some way behind that of the UK.

Most of our accounting will be under mutual rules, we will not be registered for VAT, and undertake little (or no) trading. We would however be obliged to file accounts both locally and with UK tax authorities for non-member rentals which are a trading activity, therefore these rentals may be entirely circumvented.

Mutual accounting rules work on the principle that monies passed to someone else such as a housekeeper or a member's association, are to effect expenses on your behalf or collectively. Any unspent monies must be either maintained as a rolling account, or returned. As it is not a trading activity, there is no taxation and no accounts need be filed with the Inland Revenue.

How is the society regulated?

1. By its public rules (governing articles) registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.

2. By its members under the community contract. In addition to voting on decisions directly, members hold the right to inspect the member register and accounts (both public on the website), but also to bring before the courts any action that does not follow the society's rules. There is no regulatory body, and the society is exempted from the Financial Promotions Act for sale of community shares. The FCA may however be requested to exercise is statuary powers if the society is believed to have breached the law (not its rules, see prior), or to appoint an inspector upon request by at least 10% of members.

For UK citizens, community shares are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme nor Financial Ombudsman Service.

Whom are the target market?

These have distinct targeting yet related needs. They are by no means tech oriented and can include wellbeing, the arts and sciences alike. Anybody undertaking work that may be performed at a distance.

Some of these individuals cannot or prefer not to escape for long, and may only visit for a week or two as work or inclination allows. The rest however have much more personal flexibility and prefer to travel to take advantage of lower living costs alongside lifestyle benefits, and for longer to take proper advantage.

Sub-letting your room in the city for a month or two away somewhere new and interesting at a lower cost entirely covered by the sublet, is a clear win-win. With the first property Hub House is specifically not competing with other more expensive destinational coliving hubs, but rather is appealing with affordability alongside community and facilities.

Pledging

What is the formation and acquisition process?

What is the renovation and operational delivery process?

What are the different types of share?

The co-owner share classes are all community shares, which are used for raising capital in community-owned businesses, and are withdrawable (subject to waitlist) at original value.

All may be held by any legal person, including companies. Dividends are credited to account and may thus be used for stays and other costs.

What's the main use difference between coliving and investment shares?

Coliving (fractional use) shares are intended for those whom will mostly use the space themselves. If you use it more you pay the normal rental rate, but during their corresponding time you pay only an at-cost rate.

Investment (preferential) shares are for those whom will not use much or any time at the space. They pay priority dividends (from the first profits generated). If you wanted to choose between payouts or use, you would need approximately twice the number of shares to receive dividends enough to cover the cost of (a standard) rental.

You can hold both types of share, in which case you could use dividends from investment shares to cover your contribution to costs, thus effectively a life-long cost-free stay.

Why are cohousing/dedicated shares cheaper versus coliving/fractional?

Because with fractional the co-op must cover the cost of fitout and maintenance, whilst with dedicated its owner does, this is also factored into the expenses contribution as generally a dedicated member will use common spaces slightly less and they must cover their own redecoration costs.

What happens to the money I pay for a new share issue?

It becomes the working capital of the society, after transfer to the society's bank account to complete your share issue contract. Funds are raised in this way for major projects, such as the purchase or major works of a property. Property purchased with this capital is thus then a collective asset of the co-operative, of which you own your corresponding share, and can vote upon its uses.

What are the renovation, fitout and operational budgets?

These will be published for each property that is a final candidate and can thus be used by each potential shareholder to inform their decision to participate in the final property prior to the share issue. Currently published budgets and rates are only indicative, final details will be provided in the prospectus.

How are funds disbursed?

The setup phase is different than the operational phase thereafter. All accounts are public and updated daily.

Payments and budgets over certain thresholds must be passed by member vote, with more members being required the larger the cost. Small costs from budgets are dispensed by those authorised to use them. (Volunteers for example can buy food and cleaning supplies without asking.)

During the startup phase, the founder is authorised to make most decisions as there are many hundreds of items to be sourced, he will however be obligated to maintain a running itemisation of planned purchases in addition to the accounts. Any item exceeding €10000 shall in all cases require a member vote (including the property itself). Members may propose firing him if they think there's someone better. 🤨 They may also put in place additional directors or committees with specific responsibilities.

What happens if the property can't be acquired?

Everyone will have the opportunity to withdraw their shares, or wait for another candidate.

What happens if adequate capital is not raised?

It is expected that an offer will only be made with sufficient confirmed membership contracts, however in the case of needing a fast closure, the founding members may put up the deposit and the property purchase contract may be negotiated with flexibility to raise remaming capital before closure.

Renovation and fitout works will commence in phases according to available capital as members close purchase of their shares.

In the case of something not going to plan, a extraordinary general meeting would be called and proposals put to the vote, e.g. to windup the society and return capital or to contract with a crowdfunding platform or loan issuer to raise additional capital.

What if there is a surplus of capital after works?

A vote will be held. The budget includes a cushion thus there should be funds remaining. If significant, the total share capital would be reduced and the surplus capital returned to your personal account balance for withdrawal (or use). (You must declare it as a capital return with your tax authority, as it is not a capital gain, unlike dividends.) Otherwise if less significant it will likely be invested in additional facilities or improvements.

What if there is a budget short fall?

A vote will be held. The likely outcome is that the total share capital would be increased and new shares issued to raise the extra funds. This means each member's proportion of use would be reduced/diluted.

How may I acquire shares?

If you wish to utilise your shares for accommodation at a property, it is advisable to apply for membership first. Shares alone only give voting and dividend rights. (Does not apply to the first shareholders whom are automatically granted membership.)

From the waitlist, check the website to see if anyone is withdrawing their membership.

For a new share issue, by application. If successful, a sale contract shall be offered that sets the price, issue date and payment terms (minimum 25% on the day of issue). Only the acceptance and return of this contract confirms a share issue to you.

Can I sell my shareholding?

It is only natural that a holder's lifestyle or needs may change with time, therefore to avoid cases where members no longer fit in with nor benefit from the community over the long-term, a member may request that any number of their shares be withdrawn at any time.

After this request is received, your account shall be credited only once one or more pending members from the waitlist, for the same share class, complete a sale contract for their whole value (cohousing), or any part thereof (all other classes).

You may not transfer shares (sell or donate) as they represent a commitment to either being an active part of the community (coownership), or passively supporting it (investors), each having their corresponding benefits, versus being a speculative asset.

This mechanism is know as community shares, and prevents speculative trading by transfer, ensuring that the value of the co-operative's housing and services are fixed and accessible throughout its life.

It also encourages a virtuous cycle in which members are encouraged to contribute to the community and increase the likelihood others shall want to join the waitlist, as otherwise withdrawal might be difficult.

There is no fee for withdrawal and receipt of the funds is a capital return thus is not taxable (any appreciation would be a taxable capital gain). Dividends (if any) and rights continue until withdrawal can be completed through the waitlist.

Can the value of shares change?

Appreciation of share value upon withdrawl shall be permitted by occasional review under majority vote, and does not affect use value (authorised capital). This appreciation shall allow inflation tracking but shall not exceed it. (The original value is a capital return, whilst such appreciation would be a capital gain.)

Share cost and use is linked to authorised capital, which may be changed only by 75% vote and with limits on frequency and value of such changes, except where emergency funds are required for repairs. An increase in authorised capital, reduces the use value of shares, and thus cost of new shares for the same use value, permitting new shares to be issued to raise capital. A capital increase has no impact upon withdrawl value, but may however prevent timely withdrawl if waitlist demand does not match, and thus shall be subject to appeal by the affected members to reduce or return to original value if not reissued within 1 year.

How long may shares be held?

Shares may be held until death whereupon they expire. However unless new properties are introduced better suited to older age, such as to include helpers/carers, use in old age may be inapproprtiate and withdrawal may be expected or enacted if the shareholder becomes unable to participate adequately in the community.

Shares shall be withdrawn if a member has not stayed in the past 3 years. (Or in any case by a council sitting and board appeal.) This prevents non-users from hoarding shares potentially only to trade within the community.

What is founding member status, and what benefits do they gain?

They support the initial establishment and in return are given some privileges for this.

Is my shareholding private? How is my privacy protected?

Yes, your share classes, number held, account activity and balance are not disclosed to the public nor any other members except if in default. Designated officers of the society have access. The status of your account activity, your identity and address is available to all members (by law), if this is a concern, we suggest you simply use the hub address.

Upon demand the FCA may access them (but no other common UK bodies).

In accordance with EU directives, your details and shareholding are required to be registered with the local beneficial owner register which is used by the revenue service. This register makes transparent the actual owners of companies and co-operatives regardless of their country of incorporation.

All members are required to maintain an online profile for the members register. Some parts of this (firstname, mini bio, photo and website) are by default public, but you may restrict this to members only if so desired.

Delivery

Why not buy a fully finished and functioning property?

In the case of a smaller proeprty this may make some sens and so could be the best way to rapidly add satellite properties if there's demand. However for larger properties changes are required, with space optimisation for communal living being essential. Undertaking this on a finished property is essentially throwing away some of its previous investment. A building requiring renovation needs stripping in any case and this therefore is a prime cost saving opportunity when replanning it for coliving.

Renovation is an opportunity to define a true coliving experience rather than forcing members into a house designed for nuclear families or a hotel that often lacks proper common spaces or even a kitchen that can be used efficiently by anyone other than staff.

Buildings that are not already divided up into rooms or apartments, or that have easily rebuilt partitions, are ideal because the new rooms can be much smaller than typical as most members will utilise common spaces more than private spaces. Where rooms can be made optimised the costs are reduced and more variety in unit types may also be possible (i.e. some small and some better, instead of all having a similar layout).

Renovation does however represent a signficant delivery delay, especially if keeping costs down by using volunteers instead of local (or relocated) labour.

What risks might affect handover?

Property integrity. French property sales are fairly rigourous and include details such as termite and asbestos presence. A general survey is not included, however are rarely necessary. Nontheless unforseen complications are the biggest risk though most would be merely messy detours, e.g. replacing some floor joists, or bringing a sewer connection up to standard. Structural roof works would be a major issue but are usually easily ascertained.

Availability and cost of labour for fitout. For at least the first property this will be undertaken so as to avoid the significant cost and unreliability of local contractors, by using volunteers. They will however be paid a stipend with activities and time off organised to make the experience more appealing. Similar projects have had dozens of applicants without this, but this project lacks intentional community which is desireable. Delivery time will however be highly dependant upon their productivity and numbers which could vary from one month to the next.

Dedicated units

Hub House is not a housing co-op with seperated units — excepting larger properties so structured and offering deeds, for which this note will not apply. Instead providing accommodations integrated into communal and working spaces as a membership society. The dedicated ('cohousing') class of share therefore offers no intrinsic housing rights in case of failure to respect the community contract, thus if rights under national legislation are attempted to be claimed and indeed apply, this would result in membership withdrawl resulting in loss of access to common spaces, quite apart from community isolation. We may target true cohousing at larger properties in future, and existing shareholders would be given option to transfer.

These are a special class for which shares are only issued in totality for an entire unit. When units are partly independent (e.g. wth a kitchenette) or fully independent (e.g. with seperated entrance) they're called 'cohousing', but may simply be a room thus offering your own decoration fitout and storage without having to move thing around when not in the unit.

Dedicated share owners have the same rights as any other member, and in addition:

† Unused time in cohousing does not affect the co-op's availability capacity, but improves it for any member paying rental rates. The co-op may have no or limited supply of this type of unit, thus at least some demand will always exist providing the units have adequate fitout. This mechanism thus allows speculation within the market of members and invited guests, but is 'taxed' to provide a community upside as well and maintain the liklihood of guest demand (revenue tax on the remaining value will generally also apply).

Residency and use as a base

Address use is permitted for all co-owner members, but you will gain no priveleges in France itself unless you apply for residency (titre de sejour). If you are not an EU citizen note that residency does not give any priveleges in other EU countries (except health) therefore you will technically still be limited to 90/180 days in other EU countries, though in reality this is not enforced within Schengen due to being within the border-free zone.

If helpful we will be able to issue rental contracts to facilitate residency, this would state the market rates, therefore if your revenue does not adequately cover it, this could be problematic. The member contract will have precedence, thus whilst such rental contracts technically offer full-time use rights with notice periods, any attempt to enact this use would result in the withdrawal of membership and shares. This is not really an issue because use beyond a share holding would be at market rates (not great value for long-term use) so would hardly be a sensible way to obtain a rental contract.

For France, whilst by no means the cheapest country to be based, some of the benefits are good when self-employed (health, maybe pension, but not social security) with a very simple process all managed online where you can register (as a micro-entrepreneur) at a flat tax rate of ~22% on all revenue, or under the regular regime (tiered).

Storage

All members shall be able to store items at the property where space permits (a fee may apply) whilst away, e.g. clothes, sports equipment or even art and trinkets to decorate your room with when present.

Operations

Will additional services be available?

We won't be like a hotel. We'll help each other keep things clean, and do our own laundry. Our volunteers will however help us with the basics, and if you prefer to be looked after they may offer serviced rooms and mealplans. Other members may also offer services from time to time. 👏

How are annual budgets and rates decided?

An executive shall prepare and propose them at the annual shareholder meeting, and they must be approved or modified by the shareholders before funds are assigned for use. If you are not a shareholder you can always lobby them if you think a new console/kayak/widget would be useful, or something has fallen apart. ;)

How is the co-operative governed?

There are two governance documents to be aware of. Most of the details on this page are derived from our community contract that every member and user agrees to abide by, and can be revised anytime by the members. The other is the rules of the co-operative, and which can only be revised by special resolution (with a significant majority) and is recorded by the mutuals registrar in the UK.

Over time we will almost certainly revise both of these. We may even see some small details such as the 'quiet time' changing from season to season or when different groups of members are present.

Who are the executives?

They are nominated and elected at the annual shareholder meeting. There may be multiple executives and each shall be given specific responsibilities and budget oversight. If any executive's performance is found wanting, shareholders may call a meeting to revoke their authority and elect another in their place. The initial executive (Managing Director) at time of society formation shall be the founder for a period of two years.

Bookings

For details on how share use is guaranteed, see Model.

How can I come and stay?

Simply book on the site which is open to everyone. If you are not yet a member, you will join us as a guest-member, for which there are no requirements except agreement to our community contract and pre-payment. Once you have stayed one month, you will automatically be granted membership, unless you have been summoned before the council for any breach of the community contract.

How is share use assured?

Preference shares do not include any use, therefore by issuing these, we ensure the corresponding proportion of available capacity to provide use flexibility, and to generate revenue from the resulting availability.

Share use is given preference for advance bookings with most of the rental capacity held back for bookings no sooner than three months in advance. Worst case scenario, there are also pods for overlaps until a room becomes available.

Obviously certain times of year will be more popular than others, advance booking is therefore the best solution, however with seasonal rates, peak demand shall be somewhat mitigated and booking distribution improved in favour of non-peak times. Furthermore, the rate variations amongst seasons and room types also creates a surplus of capacity (~10%), although this is obviously only created for the least demanded rooms and seasons.

When can I book a room?

Specific rules shall be decided and refined every now and then:

    from 9 months
  1. fractional up to 50% of capacity — leaving 15%
  2. guests up to 10% capacity — leaving 25%
  3. from 12 weeks
  4. all remaining allocated capacity — no less than 40%
  5. from 6 weeks
  6. first-come first-served

This mechanism favours fractional bookings 9–3 months in advance, and guests between 12 to 6 weeks. All capacity not booked by either class at the last minute can be used by both, avoiding wastage. This does however mean bookable capacity may fluctate from actual allocations, however with a rolling availability for fractional it will be subtracted from the use for the class with an overage and credited to the other for the following period. It also means in a limited number of cases you may not be able to book despite having valid use, thus in these cases you can only make your use available for trade.

Capacity is measured for the time period up to the departure date per the thresholds above (thus the rolling calculation). You may request that the manager use their discretion if the booking system does not allow desired periods.

Minimum stay will be 14 days, and move-in days are likely to be employed, e.g. only Fri or Sat. It is also likely that bookings will only be possible immediately following another, else two weeks or more thereafter to minimise empty periods that cannot be filled.

How much share use do I have?

Every share giving fractional coliving use provides flexible bookings. Their use value corresponds their proportional share of the rates table for the different units, seasons and durations. These rates may be revised from year to year, but the proportion you hold of its aggregrate (the property capacity) value shall not change (except in the rare event of recapitalisation, or a reconfiguration of property capacity).

The online booking system will indicate what use you have remaining, and how long this gives you in each type of room. The calculation will be rolling, therefore in any given 1-year period, if you have used all your time, you cannot book again until dates following those of your last booking, ensuring everybody gets a chance at the best dates. If however you have only used half your time, you would be able to book the remainder at any time.

How long is share use valid?

All share use expires after 1 year on a rolling basis, thus if you use half your available time and do not make another booking it will expire 1 year from your last booking. This mechanism, whilst a little hard to deduce one's balance at any given time, avoids booking rushes and ensure equitable dsitribution of availability over time.

What are the costs for a room?

All rooms have separate rates that are billed daily during each season. See the booking system as this will display and calculate daily rates. A booking and change fee usually applies.

For ordinary members your rate is reduced the longer you stay, e.g. the monthly rate only applies if you stay more than four weeks.

For shareholders, you pay only the contribution to costs during your share use time at the ratio corresponding the room. Beyond your share use, you pay the standard rental rates as any ordinary member, however the longer term rates will apply for the entire duration of your booking (e.g. if you have four weeks share use, and book a further four weeks rental, the rental would be at the long-term rate).

Additional occupants are charged at the same cash rate for everyone.

When do I have to pay?

A non-refundable advance is taken including for fractional use. If less than six weeks the full amount is due, otherwise 30% at booking and remainder 4 weeks before arrival. For stays over 4 weeks, 30% of the 4-week rate at booking, then every 4 weeks in advance.

How long can I stay?

The maximum stay is 4 weeks for guest members, or 16 weeks (4 months) for any single booking. You may request that the council grant an extension beyond this.

Can I extend my stay?

Yes if there is availability. Any booking changes benefit from the cost reduction corresponding the new duration but the original does not change. As a guest desiring to stay longer, your first booking would be max 4 weeks, and you only acquire membership after 6 weeks of cumulative stays, thus cannot extend a first stay unless granted by the council. Warning: you must extend and settle your account balance before your paid-for use expires, as your pass will stop working and you will be unable to regain access to your room and the house.

Can I book multiple rooms or run events?

You can book multiple pods. Otherwise your guests should book themselves. You can make a reservation, and then invite your guest to complete it if you have remaining invites.

Events may be booked by arrangement no later than 6 months in advance (9 months guarentees full availability) for up to 50% of capacity, rooms can also be adjusted to accommodate twin/triple beds, else you can use local accommodations as well with those guests being granted passes. Members must be able to participate in onsite activities at no extra cost.

Are there group discounts?

Maybe. Groups tend to be cliquey and we like everyone to interact, so we don't encourage groups unless from the ecosystem for whom we may offer a discount. Please introduce yourselves!

Sharing

What if I don't use my time?

You can transfer any value of your use to another member and you may charge for it at any rate. Use is thus freely tradeable amongst members (our 'internal market').

This privelege may be utilised only once the member has themselves used at least 125% of their share credit in the first two years. Furthermore members whom have used less than 50% of their credit themselves in the last four years, shall have their membership withdrawn (with right to appeal in the case of nominal earnings). This prevents members from holding shares only to trade. Trading credit shall be facilitated on the platform (the asking price from members will be shown when booking extra time), or may be arranged informally. Use cannot be resold to the public.

Earnings from such trading may be used on account i.e. to pay cost contributions when staying.

In the case of low demand a member with unused time will be obliged to resell at a rate lower than the co-op's, benefiting other members, and potentially encouraging management changes.

Can I take an additional unit for friends/family?

Unlike a roommate, if you want to invite any non-member and book a unit for them, you must vouch for them as a new member (see Membership following) then make a transfer of credit or let them pay rental rates. There's a limit on the number you may invite, and booking opens at different times with different availabilities, however with the correct timing this may be completed in a single step at the time of booking.

Can I share my room?

Yes. If your roommate is not a member, they must be registered as a guest, and will be given their own access pass. Guests will appear on «who's here» as staying with you. Anyone unregistered and without their own pass will be immediately ejected and the member whom invited them called before the council. Your guest and their actions are your responsibility, so make sure you educate them well!

Enforcement will be open to debate and depend partly upon the property, however it is unequivocal that humans are bad at judging each other and due to the large number of people whom could be affected by a bad judgement, we will be careful.

Your account will be charged the additional occupant cost contributions for your guest(s) with a minimum of €40 (~5 days), charging stops when their pass is returned (this can be done using the site or app by them or by you). If your guest stays long enough without objection, they will become a full member.

What about sharing cohousing units?

Identical, however exceptions apply such as having a larger number of guests whom can be vouched for in a given year.

Can I share my pass/account?

No. Your membership will be revoked. (Including with guests you have not registered.)

Membership and account

How do I become a member?

In addition to the automatic grant as above, there are two other means.

A: Apply and agree to the community contract. Your application will be reviewed at the next council session when there's availability and will involve a video checkin. If you are declined you can reapply under a new council session.

B: If you know a member, they can vouch for your application, and it will be granted immediately.

NOTE: until there is a council, membership is automatically granted, thus all the earliest members (i.e. shareholders) are reviewed only by the founder.

The community contract gives the right to use accommodation and facilities, and to vote on day-to-day matters. The contract also includes an obligation to participate in council sessions (our form of jury duty and community determination) for which you, when booked in, can be randomly selected should any session be called.

Membership is not transferable.

What is an access pass?

Keys and the member register are electronic. Everyone at a property must check in and out to ensure safety and security. A pass can be issued as a contactless card, pass on your RFID-phone, and/or as an app. You must keep one of these with you when leaving the property. The app will check you in and out automatically, otherwise you must touch your phone or card at the door when arriving or leaving. Some satellite properties may not employ door access, only using a register.

Is there a membership fee?

None. If you use your time allocation, you contribute to the costs when you do. If you fail to use your time, no payment is due as the society will instead attempt to rent unused time, which also contributes to the community fund — so you should make and vote on proposals to use it!

Should free movement or demand become restricted to the point that costs cannot be covered, and raising costs is inadequate, a fee could be introduced upon all members to subsidise the/a property until such situation can be resolved.

What do the monthly expenses that member-shareholders pay include?

Your contribution towards all recurring costs. Such as taxes, utilities (electricity, internet,…), our repairs and replacements, plus our volunteers and communal facilities such as vehicles. Note that significant use of bedroom electricity (e.g. for heating) is not included and rooms are individually metered.

Our maintenance fund covers (most, if not all) replacement equipment and decorations across their lifetime, preventing issues from arising amongst co-owners at the potentially unexpected times they would otherwise become due. This allows the co-operative to function resiliently without having to unexpectedly raise additional funds. Bedding replacement for example varies from 3 years for linens and protectors, to 8 years for mattresses.

The initial costs are estimates. If the costs are a little lower than budgeted it will just be spent on some ice-cream for everyone. Otherwise the rates are adjusted based on updated costs.

My balance is in credit, can I make a withdrawal?

Yes, but excluding any pending charges, and only directly to a bank account. For investor shareholders, dividends are taxable income, and must therefore be declared with your appropriate tax authorities.

My balance is in arrears, how can I make a payment?

Cash payments are subject to a fee. We don't want your dirty money.🦹‍ Card payments online have a small additional fee (~1–3%), bank transfers have no fee except if foreign in which case you'll be credited after deduction as applicable. Other members won't pay for your choice of financial instruments. And no crypto, find your own currency dealer as we have to operate in the real world.😝

What happens to accounts in arrears?

If such status is not resolved it becomes visible to all members, per the community contract so that house accounts can be managed accordingly.

Members in difficulty may have the opportunity to take up a volunteer role, moving to a pod, relinquish their booking in order that they incur no further costs, however this would be at the discretion of a council session and is best arranged before it occurs.

When unresolved, withdrawable shares they hold shall be withdrawn as necessary to cover the arrears. Accounts in arreas are shared across the network and associated networks and therefore bookings may not be accepted in any connected property until resolved.

When can I vouch for new members?

You may vouch for 1 new member each year. After staying two months, or one year after your first stay if less. If the new member is referred to the council within their first three months you will also be called before them and will loose the ability to vouch.

Are children welcome?

In hubs and larger properties, yes, in satellite and smaller properties, only at specific times of year.

Our properties are both working and living spaces, and the community contract therefore requires that should you believe you may disrupt others, you must seek an indication from those already present in any given room that you will not disrupt them. Not all properties are suitably large to provide space for kids, however in larger properties there should be either indoor or outdoor space away from those working whom cannot be disturbed. In smaller ones a month or two every year will be chosen for families, and anyone else whom is happy to share the extra liveliness with them, the specific dates will be rotated from year to year to ensure it's not always the same time. If your children are older, cool and collected they'll be welcomed anytime in a pod.

Given that this is a work-focussed space (although not all properties will be), particularly rambunctious kids or noisy babies would not fit and other members would likely raise their concerns. Obviously occasional disruptions are to be expected. However if disruption were reoccurring, members may call a council session to resolve it.

If you are looking to stay a while and provide homeschooling, you are encouraged to coordinate with other members and to arrange a volunteer or teacher, sharing the costs of their stipend/pay and accommodation.

Are the elderly and other-abled welcome?

There's no limit so long as you can look after yourself. In other cases you are most welcome to enquire if a volunteer may be available to provide assistance (or you can bring someone to help you if we have a free volunteer room), however this cannot be guarenteed and a contribution may be expected. Because we renovate existing properties, many facilities may not however be accessible, please check the property.

We would love to support more life stages, and are thus planning multi-generational spaces, which may be both near the current hub so everybody can still benefit together, whilst also maintaining some separation for different groups such as nursing and elderly care to better fit their different life rhythms. These spaces are likely to run as a separate co-operative but with exchangeability between them, thus when and if your life stage changes, you could remain a participant.

What about dogs and cats?

No we hate animals. Awww. They are very welcome in your room (as ever you are responsible for any damage) and in fact they're also welcome everywhere else if you check with anyone already there. The focus workspace, library, and main workspace if only one, are always out of bounds. Simultaneous bookings between those with allergies and those with pets will be prevented, therefore access is not certain even if there's booking availability.

Community contract

How are decisions made about the living space, rules and use of the budget?

Anyone who is currently staying or has stayed recently and has voting rights can propose changes and then vote upon them. See the member contract for the current process as it can change, longer stays receive a voting bonus. Some decisions are delegated to an official or council group, however the members can grill or fire them if enough think they're doing a bad job.

Who enforces the rules?

Any guide elected by a council, any manager, or any executive. Members may request a council session if they feel unfairly treated. Following this, they may also opt to elevate an issue to the board for appeal unless the council was unaminous.

What is a council session?

The council is non-executive and does not report to the board, its decisions on matters relating to member conduct and day-to-day operations are final and require a two-thirds majority in all matters (abstentions not permitted). Councillors are chosen from amongst all members present at the time (not arrived nor departing in the prior/next 5 days), for each session by algorithm (ensuring diversity and randomisation) and it is a contractual obligation to participate. For in-person sessions, an exception can be granted by the other councillors if the unavailable councillor finds another whom is available.

Most sessions are resolved online, some require an on location presence by the council such as for misconduct and illegal behaviour. Sessions are only called if members are unable to resolve issues directly, or to change day-to-day operational matters.

In general sessions are unlikely to be called, and decisions will simply be made informally. A session may however be called to change, prevent or undo such decisions in a more formal manner.

A council session may be invoked by any member but must be supported by x others or a board member.

All sessions (except urgent/misconduct) are preceded with a poll, in which preliminary opinions are taken. These are announced when the session starts and councillors may then make their final votes after hearing arguments from members and other councillors.

Any member whom has in the last three months breached the community contract (including not participating in a council session) shall be identified online.

Who are the board?

Members will annually nominate and elect them, a board member does not have to be a shareholder nor community member; a member may nominate themselves.

What is the board's role?

The board is advisory, and holds some executive roles per legislation. They advise on decisions presented by both directors and members directly. The board functions as a last-resort for the resolution of member issues, and exceptionally if they perceive a potential resolution to be damaging they may veto it until it is reviewed and represented. Thus they act to keep both directors/managers and members in check, if members have issues in relation to proposals, they must listen to your concerns and convey their position to the proposer of a resolution. The board has no other decision making ability itself, although they may submit proposals the decision (vote) remains with members.

It's important to note that whilst the board could veto a proposal indefinitely, should this happen, members may replace them. It thus remains in everyone's interests to work together.

Miscellaneous

What do the emojis on profiles mean?

We purposefully do not identify between different types of member. However we do indicate people whose roles/responsibilities and characteristics hold relevance.

Do the shareholders own the Hub House identity?

No. The shareholders own and control the property holding society and its acquired assets (i.e. buildings and equipment).

What is Hub House?

A social enterprise functioning as a platform.coop, to develop and operate models and platforms for its members (being independent co-owned properties that meet its eligibility requirements), to facilitate operations of their properties, and enable their participation in a wider ecosystem (such as to exchange co-ownership time use amongst independent properties, this enabling co-owners to move amongst them without separate additional investments), to share resources and promote themselves collectively.

What is the relationship between the property co-operative and Hub House?

Hub House provides an umbrella brand and technology platform to assist in the operations of the property. The society may revoke this, and put in place a new operation and identity as they see fit. It is similarly possible for Hub House to revoke its contract for use of its identity and platform if eligibility changes. The contract shall be granted at no cost for the first 4 years, then upon expiry Hub House's requirements will include the exchange of a small share stake (i.e. the platform benefits if the house benefits, and vice-versa). A rental booking fee may be introduced.

What is the founder's responsibility and remuneration?

The founder will purchase an initial shareholding as the first backer, and will provide operational management for two years in exchange for an additional shareholding upon completion, around <5% to be negotiated by the founding members, and to potentially be shared with any other members taking on responsibilities during this phase. The responsbilities may be distributed amongst multiple members, however it is not expected that many will want to, whereas the founder is willing to work with only nominal remuneration to prove the model, towards future growth. His responsbilities will cover all aspects in order to deliver operational capacity, and thereafter in a more limited manner as a permanent board member for oversight. Shareholders shall declare operational capacity by vote, from which point all decisions will be directly voted upon. Following expiry of the founder's role, some responsibilities may be transferred to Hub House, if the shareholders approve, otherwise the shareholders will be obliged to budget for and approve operational capability, e.g. shareholder volunteering, hiring a manager,…