Ridgeside Co-op

House Rules

House Rules


1. Amendments. (Passed March 2, 1983)
All amendments to these house rules shall be approved by consensus of the members.

2. Insurance. (Passed March 2, 1983)
Members shall not do anything to void the co-op’s insurance or increase the premiums.

3. Safety.
A. Members shall be responsible for the safety of the co-op as a whole and shall challenge trespassers and report disturbances as appropriate. (Passed March 2, 1983)
B. In order to reduce the possibility of break-ins and other crime at the co-op, all front and back entryways on the ground floor of the buildings will have an outside light which will be kept lit during the hours of darkness. (Passed November 20, 2006)

4. Mediation. (Passed March 2, 1983)
(As per our Bylaws, Section XIII)
“13.01. In the event that disputes arise between individual members, shareholders, and/or resident households, the Board of Directors shall convene a special dispute resolution meeting not later than five (5) days after request for an action giving rise to a meeting has occurred. The Board of Directors shall herein resolve all disputes coming before it and shall issue a written decision to the parties to each dispute heard within seventy-two (72) hours after the hearing. The Board of Directors shall be guided in its decision-making by the following considerations: a) the rules and regulations as stated in the occupancy agreement, the bylaws and other official documents of the co-op; b) fair and equal treatment of the shareholder, member and/or resident; c) fair treatment of the co-op; d) established policies and requirements of any duly elected or appointed governing body of the co-op.
“13.02. Should the Board of Directors be unable or unwilling to hear and/or resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of all parties, the parties shall submit the matter to an impartial arbitrator mutually acceptable to all parties. If the parties cannot agree upon a mutually acceptable arbitrator, the Board of Directors shall select an arbitrator. The decision of the arbitrator in all cases shall be final. The cost of the arbitration proceeding, if any, shall be shared equally among the parties to the arbitration.”

5. Repairs and Maintenance. (Passed September 7, 1983)
(Adapted from our Occupancy Agreement, Section VIII)
A. The member agrees to repair and maintain the dwelling unit at his/her own expense as follows: 1) any repairs, maintenance or replacements necessitated by his/her own negligence or misuse; 2) any re-decoration of the dwelling unit; and 3) any repairs, maintenance or replacements required on any personal property or fixture brought into the dwelling unit by the member. Any repairs or improvements the cost of which is greater than ten (10) percent of the monthly carrying charge must first be approved by the co-op’s Board of Directors.
B. The co-op shall provide and pay for all necessary repairs, maintenance and
replacements, except as specified in paragraph A of this house rule. The officers and employees of the co-op shall have the right to enter the dwelling unit of the member in order to effect necessary repairs, maintenance and replacements and to authorize entrance for such purposes by employees of any contractor, utility company, municipal agency or others with advance notice as required by Wisconsin state law. In case the member shall fail to effect the repairs, maintenance or replacements specified in paragraph A of this house rule, in a manner satisfactory to the co-op and pay for same, the co-op may make the repair and add the cost to the monthly carrying charge or as otherwise agreed upon by and between the co-op and the member. Any such decision shall be made by the co-op’s Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the co-op’s maintenance committee.

6. Changes or Improvements in Unit. (Passed March 2, 1983; amended 7/10/2006)
A. Permanent structural alterations of the building require prior written approval of the co-op’s Board of Directors.
B. Painting can be applied by members inside their unit, however, the member is required at the member's expense to re-paint all of the unit to a shade of white agreed upon by the board of directors when the member leaves.

7. Co-op Right of Entry into a Unit (Passed March 2, 1983)
(As per our Occupancy Agreement, Section VII, Part B)
Occupants agree to permit a duly authorized agent, employee or representative of the co-op to enter the dwelling unit for the purpose of making improvements or repairs. Entry may be made only during reasonable hours after reasonable advance notice to the members of the date, time and purpose of the entry. The co-op shall have the right, however, to enter the unit without prior notice if the co-op reasonably believes or has reasonable cause to believe that an emergency exists which requires such entrance. An emergency may include a serious breach of the maintenance covenant by either the occupants or the co-op, any interruption of a utility or another essential service, or a defect or condition clearly hazardous to the health and safety of the occupants or seriously damaging to the dwelling unit.

8. Porch Railings. (Passed August 14, 1983)
Anything placed on porch railings must be securely fastened down.

9. Common Hallways. (Passed March 2, 1983)
A. The responsibility for cleaning these areas is assigned to the shared users.
B. Any storage shall be with the consent of the shared users.

10. Storage Space. (Passed March 2, 1983)
No unit is entitled to more than one-ninth (1/9) of the total inside/outside storage space; storage space used shall be kept neat and in a manner compliant with safety rules.

11. Children. (Passed March 2, 1983)
A. Children need supervision. They can add to the enjoyment of everyone who lives here but they can also cause a remarkable amount of damage and disturb the rights of other residents without intending to do so. To make this a pleasant place for everyone, inform your child(ren) of the limits of his/her behavior and enforce these limits.
B. Children shall not play in basements and garden plots. Toys used outside should not interfere with walkways and unit entrances. Toys will be cleared from parking lot, walkways and entrances before dark each evening.
C. Childcare during co-op meetings will be reimbursed at the rate approved by the co-op’s Board of Directors.

12. Noise. (Passed March 2, 1983)
You have a right to expect that your neighbors’ actions will not disturb your right to a quiet and orderly home. They have the right to expect the same from you. If you are experiencing disruptive and loud noises from your neighbors, it is recommended that you deal with them directly.

13. Parking: Cars. (Passed March 2, 1983)
A. The parking lot is to be used only for motor vehicle storage or other objects as approved by the co-op’s Board of Directors.
B. The parking lot is divided into eight regular-sized parking spaces, one extra-large parking space and the sidewalk space alongside of the extra-large space. The extra-large parking space is the one nearest Unit Six and the highest priority for its use is for cars of handicapped drivers; the sidewalk space along this parking spot is to be kept clear at all times. Each unit is assigned one space; a list showing current assignments, as determined by the co-op’s Board of Directors, will be distributed to each unit.
C. No substance harmful to the brick portion of the parking lot may be used on any portion of the parking lot; this includes salt and cars which leak oil. Cars leaking oil are not to be driven into the parking lot.

14. Parking: Bikes and Other Vehicles. (Passed March 2, 1983)
Effective upon installation of a co-op bike rack, no bike or other vehicle may be parked on the common walkways.

15. Adding Cost of Unit Additions/Improvement to Owners’ Equity (Passed September 8, 1985)
“Policy for Adding Cost of Unit Additions/Improvement to Owners’ Equity”
No labor costs will be added.
For additions, material costs will be fully depreciated at a rate decided on a case-by-case basis.
For replacements, the cost of the replaced material (depreciated at a rate also decided on a case-by-case basis) will be subtracted from the cost of the new material and this value will then be depreciated over the determined rate.
The owner will provide figures in writing on cost and, if a replacement, the depreciated value of the original material to the Board of Directors before the request is voted on.
The owner will also provide the Board of Directors with a written timetable including an ending date for the project; depreciation shall start from this date. If the project is not completed at a time when the owner leaves the co-op, no equity will be added and the owner will be liable for any costs associated with finishing the project.
Previous to the work commencing, a representative of the co-op may inspect the item being replaced to determine its value; a representative of the co-op may inspect the project upon completion as indicated in the timetable.
No costs additional to those originally approved by the Board of Directors will be added to the equity.
This policy shall not supercede anything in the co-op maintenance policy.
Disputes in this policy will be resolved as per the Bylaws.
NOTE: The co-op realizes that the above policy artificially suppresses the amount members can get back on improvements; it was written in this way, however, so as to be congruent with the co-op’s mission to provide reasonable housing alternatives for middle-to-low income families.

16. Major Co-op Work Projects (Passed August 1, 1993)
“Policy for Major Co-op Work Projects”
A list of all short-range and long-range co-op projects should be drawn up and prioritized. The most urgent projects will be considered first.
The co-op Board of Directors will be informed with a written estimate of all costs anticipated for a project selected; a time limit must be included. For competitive bids we do not necessarily want to accept the lowest bid. A copy of the estimate accepted will be provided to each co-op member upon request. Any proposed payments to skilled workers, who are members of the co-op, must be approved in advance by the co-op Board of Directors, as required by the co-op’s Bylaws.
Each major co-op project will have a co-op subcommittee selected to draw up a general plan anticipating the various steps of the project from beginning to end. This project plan will also include estimates of the cost of materials and the number of hours of co-op labor needed. The subcommittee will confer with the city building inspector regarding any applicable city codes, and also, if applicable, notify Diggers Hotline (which covers overhead dangers as well). Each project’s plan will be presented to the co-op Board of Directors, as well as progress reports during the life of the project.
Written notice of at least seven days for co-op workdays, and an additional reminder notice just before each, is recommended to optimize co-op members’ participation; provision should regularly be made for alternative workdays in case of bad weather.
Upon completion of a project, all reimbursement requests for bills relating to the project shall be turned into the co-op within thirty days of incurrence; any bills submitted after the thirty days will need to be approved by the co-op Board of Directors. The project’s subcommittee should provide a short written summary of all work completed, including a financial statement, when the project is at an end.

17. Decision-Making Process. (Passed July 10, 1994)
In the interest of making the best possible decisions, the Board of Directors of the co-op uses a decision-making method described as “consensus minus one”--this means that an issue
before the Board of Directors will be discussed until, at minimum, all but one of those present approve the decision proposed to be made. If consensus minus one has not been achieved after a full hour of discussion on any particular issue, in order to finalize the decision the Board of Directors may move to the voting procedure provided in the co-op’s Bylaws, wherein each apartment is given one indivisible vote to cast and a simply majority vote will prevail.
All members of each apartment are urged to attend all of the Board of Directors’ meetings in order to insure wider information sharing and better decisions.

18. Third Party Agreements. (Passed February 15, 1998)
No members may rely upon a third party or guarantor to carry out responsibilities of membership.

19. Meeting Attendance. (Passed May 17, 1998; amended December 13, 1998, May 22, 1999)
By policy and practice the co-op meets monthly and expects its members to attend monthly meetings. By practice the co-op has made every effort to set meeting times to accommodate its members’ schedules. To assure that members participate in co-op board meetings, the Board of Directors sets the following policy: That co-op members are expected to attend monthly meetings. The co-op secretary will send out a meeting announcement to members soon after each meeting to assure that members are aware of the next meeting date, time, and place. If the member is unable to attend, he/she will inform the co-op president of the expected absence and at the same time provide dates of availability for the next meeting. The co-op secretary will keep a record of attendance and report the number of absences of members to the Board of Directors. When a member has accumulated three (3) absences during a rolling twelve-month (12-month) period, the member’s lack of attendance will be the subject of discussion and action by the co-op. Three absences in a twelve-month period may be grounds for eviction.

20. Meeting Absences (Passed March 14, 1999; amended May 22, 1999)
“Policy on Possible Actions After a Co-op Member has Missed Three Meetings in a Rolling Twelve-Month Period”
1. After three absences have been reported, the Board of Directors will:
- Consider the validity of the absences; e.g., was the member at home or in town and could have physically attended without suffering fiscal or physical consequences;
- Consider whether the member has fulfilled their duties to the co-op; e.g., maintenance, grounds, etc.;
- Consider if the member has performed special services to the co-op;
- Consider if the member has fulfilled financial obligations.
2. After due consideration of the member’s activities and her/his impact on the co-op, the Board of Directors may do the following:
- Strike any or all of the absences from the on-going twelve-month count;
- Inform the member than any future absences will trigger further review and possible eviction;
- Initiate eviction proceedings.
3. Additional details:
a. To track how many absences a member has had in a 12-month period, the co-
op secretary will note absences next to each member’s name in the minutes. The co-op secretary will keep an absence record and a notation of why the person missed.
b. We will also track the presence/absence record of members for those meetings which have been scheduled and properly noticed, but canceled for lack of quorum. Those meetings canceled ahead of time don’t count against the member.
c. Members are expected to bring their calendars to meetings.
d. Soon after the monthly meeting, the co-op secretary will send out notices to members announcing the time, date and location of the next meeting.
e. The co-op secretary should get the minutes out ahead of time.
f. The agenda should be out a week ahead of time.
g. Anyone who cannot attend a monthly meeting is obligated to contact the co-op president in advance and to offer an explanation for his/her absence and at the same time provide dates of availability for the next meeting.
h. The co-op secretary will notify the members of meeting cancellations.
i. The meeting attendance house rule was originally adopted on May 17, 1998 and the additional provisions of this meeting absence policy will be retroactive to May 17, 1998.

21. Late Payment of Carrying Charges. (Passed July 25, 1999; amended August 24, 2005; amended February 16, 2006)
Members who have not given their monthly carrying charges to the bookkeeper on or before the tenth of the month will be charged a $20.00 fee, after a five-day grace period. The member may appeal the fee to the board of directors. The board may only cancel the fee on the grounds of a substantial decrease in the member’s income or an unexpected absence by the member between the tenth and the fifteenth of the month. This house rule supersedes the previous late charges arrangement.

22. Dogs. (Passed March 20, 2000; amended April 18, 2000; amended November 20, 2012)

  1. At the time a vacancy is first advertised, the board evaluates the current number of dogs living in the Coop and decides that the to-be-rented unit may be advertised as open to dogs. If the board decides that adding one or more dogs would be unwise, the to-be-rented unit may be advertised as dogs prohibited. Note that even if a unit is advertised as open to dogs, some dogs may be a better fit for the Coop than others, and members of the board may still use dog ownership as a criterion when screening applicants.

  2. At the time a vacancy is being considered to be advertised as open to dogs, representatives from each unit in the same building as the to-be-rented unit unanimously agree that the to-be-rented unit should be advertised as open to dogs. For purposes of this rule, 841 and 843 count as a single building.

  3. For people wishing to enter the Coop with a dog, four (or more) references are required using the Coop's Dog Reference Form. The Dog Reference Form addresses A) obedience, B) aggression, C) noise, D) general demeanor, and E) owner responsibility. These references must include at least one prior landlord if applicable, and a veterinary reference. Proof of completion of a training class may serve as a reference.

  4. For existing Coop members wishing to adopt a new dog: The Board must decide that adding a dog to the Coop community would be prudent, and members from all units in the same building as the applying member must unanimously assent, as outlined in points 1 and 2 above. This process applies to all members seeking new dogs, even those who already have one or more dogs. References as above should be provided if possible. If a veterinary reference does not exist, the owner will establish a new veterinary relationship within 30 days of getting the dog. New dogs will be required to attend behavior/socialization classes appropriate to the dog's age and previous training level. These requirements may be waived at the discretion of the board.

  5. When the owner leaves the Coop, no less than 30% of their transfer value will be withheld for possible damages.

  6. The “Dog Agreement” is signed by the dog owning member, acknowledging the Coop's rules for responsible dog ownership. Rules include A) dog waste will be picked up immediately at all times, B) dogs will not become a noise nuisance, and C) dogs will not act aggressively towards any people or other animals, D) owner is liable for any damages or harm caused by the dog, E) owner will follow all city and state ordinances pertaining to dog ownership, F) owner will obtain regular veterinary care as appropriate to the dog's age and health status, G) if not already done, dogs will be spayed or neutered within 1 month of joining the Coop, or if a puppy, by 4 months of age, H) dogs will not be outside unattended. The first three months that the dog is in the Coop will be a probationary period. At each monthly board meeting during this period, members will review the extent to which the Dog Agreement is being fulfilled. The board may vote at any time on whether the dog agreement has been violated (even after the probationary period). If the dog agreement has been violated, that serves as Good Cause for termination of the Occupancy Agreement by Coop as outlined in the Occupancy Agreement. In the event of termination by Coop for violation of the dog agreement, the departing occupant has up to two months in which to vacate the premises, unless the termination was due to a safety concern, in which case the standard fifteen day period applies and the Coop may require additional measures be taken.

23. Loan Fund. (Passed December 6, 2000)
Whereas Ridge Side Co-op is fortunate to have access to a low-interest loan fund to assist our new members with their required entry downpayments, and
Whereas Ridge Side Co-op needs to preserve the funds and ensure their availability when needed, each member approved to receive a co-op downpayment loan is hereby required to remain current with the monthly re-payment schedule established when the loan is originally approved for the member.
As a condition of the loan, each person must sign a statement of understanding that any failure to remain current with the loan repayments will be grounds for eviction from the co-op.

24. Contacting Outside Parties on Behalf of the Co-op. (Passed April 9, 2001)
No one except the president and treasurer may contact outside parties about co-op business without the authorization of the board of directors.

25. Monthly Work Requirement. (Passed April 9, 2001; Amended August 20, 2001; Amended August 11, 2003; Amended September 22, 2005; Amended December 15, 2009)
A. Each member is required to put in six hours of work on the co-op each month, except for March through November when ten hours are required per month.
B. Members may bank hours they have worked ahead, but are still responsible for their snow removal and lawn care duties. Hours banked expire twelve months after they accrue. Hours must have been reported monthly in writing to the board of directors in order to be eligible to be banked.
C. All co-op members must submit a monthly work hours report, via e-mail or hard copy, for each calendar month to the person who is designated to make the collective monthly report for the Board of Directors’ meeting. The work hours report must be turned in at least three business days prior to the monthly co-op meeting.
D. Co-op members with deficits in their monthly work hours at the end of each calendar year will pay the same amount of dollars as would be charged if they were transferring out of the co-op with a deficit; this house rule will not be effective until the end of the calendar year 2010.

26. Keys. (Passed July 22, 2001)
The co-op will keep a copy of each apartment’s key. Except in emergencies, the co-op will give twenty-hour hours’ notice before entering an apartment.

27. Dogs of Guests. (Passed July 22, 2001)
Any dog that comes on the property must be leashed.

28. No Smoking. (Passed October 29, 2001)
The co-op will be non-smoking indoors, except for the current residents of Unit One, who are grandfathered in.

29. Income Disclosure Forms. (Passed August 24, 2005)
Each year at the co-op’s annual meeting, each household will complete an income disclosure form provided by the co-op.

30. Notice Upon Leaving. (Passed June 22, 2006)
A minimum of ninety days’ notice in writing is required of a member’s intention to end their membership in the co-op, unless the written notice is proferred in person to the co-op during a co-op meeting, when sixty days’ notice will be adequate.

31. Recycling & Trash Bins. (Passed June 22, 2006)
The city recycling and trash bins will be kept all year-round in the co-op’s designated trash area at the back of the parking lot (near the lawnmower/snowblower shed), except that the current residents of Unit One may keep one small recycling bin only near the main entrance to that unit.

32. Campaign Yard Signs. (Passed November 20, 2006)
During the various election seasons, members may put up campaign yard signs relating to candidates or referendum issues in front of the co-op house in which they live; yard signs will be taken down within one week after the election.

33. Transfer Procedure. (Passed February 19, 2007)
Note: Please see also Section XII, “Termination of Occupancy of Membership,” in the Occupancy Agreement, as well as the numerous relevant sections of the By-laws (especially Section XI for the calculation method used to determine the departing member’s transfer value).
A. Committees
Inspection and transfer committees will be constituted at the first Board meeting at or after which the departing member has given written notice of leaving.
There will be at least 3 co-op members on each Inspection Committee and each Transfer Committee; one person on each such committee will be identified as the Chair of that committee and will be responsible for notifying and including all of the committee’s members in the work of the committee.
B. Inspections
The first inspection will take place within 10 days of the first Board meeting at or after which the departing member has given written notice of leaving.
Another inspection will take place approximately two weeks prior to the member’s stated leaving date.
A final inspection will take place within 24 hours after the member vacates the apartment.
This is a minimum number of inspections. More can be conducted at the discretion of the Inspection Committee, as well as at the request of the departing member.
If the outgoing member and the Inspection Committee are unable to work out a mutually agreeable time for each inspection, proper notice in writing will be given to the member of when the Inspection Committee of the Co-op will be entering the unit to conduct each inspection.
A written report of the findings will be given to the chair of the transfer committee and the departing member within 3 days of the inspection. The Co-op inspection form will be used for the inspection of the apartment by the Inspection Committee. This form includes a portion to report to the Transfer Committee.
C. Transfer Value
The maximum transfer value is calculated based on the transfer value paid by the member when they joined the co-op and their length of membership.
At the closing, this maximum amount will be returned, less:

The amount estimated by the Co-op required to repair damages for which the member may be fairly held responsible, as indicated in the final report from the Inspection Committee.

An additional sum (usually 10%-20% of the maximum transfer value) to be held in reserve to pay for damage for which the member may be fairly held responsible, found subsequent to the member’s leaving.
The member can reduce the total amount of money withheld, and/or increase the amount of money returned, by making the needed repairs themselves, either before the closing, or within a limited amount of time after the closing, as negotiated by the Transfer Committee in consultation with the Inspection Committee.
No later than 6 weeks after the closing, the departing member will be refunded any withheld amount to which he or she is entitled; along with the refund will be included a written account, with as
many specifics as possible, of the disposition for any dollars not refunded.
D. Related Documents.
Incorporated as part of this house rule by mention here are the documents titled: 1) “Check-In/Check-Out Form”; 2) “Summary Report from the Inspection Committee to the Transfer Committee”; 3) “Notice to Conduct a Physical Inspection of Unit”; and, 4) “Notice to Show Unit to Prospective Occupants.”

34. Provision of Forwarding Address. (Passed September 20, 2007)
It is the responsibility of departing members to supply the co-op treasurer with a letter providing their new address and a self-addressed, stamped envelop upon leaving the co-op, if they wish to receive any monies withheld by the co-op to which they will be due or if they wish to be informed of their share of the co-op’s property tax and mortgage interest at the end of the co-op’s tax year.

35. Drying Clothes Out-of-Doors. (Passed March 13, 2008)
Members wishing to dry or air their clothes or other items out-of-doors must use personal fold-away drying racks, rather than the porch railings or fences of the co-op, unless the co-op provides a shared co-op clothes line, in which case, the members may use either the shared clothes line or personal fold-away drying racks.

36. Access by Non-Members. (Passed July 21, 2008)
Non-members cannot use the common areas of the co-op as storage and also are not allowed unaccompanied admittance to public areas of the co-op.

37. Payment of Monthly Carrying Charges & Personal Utilities During Unit Transfers. (Passed January 19, 2012)
a. During unit transfers, the departing member shall pay the monthly carrying charges and personal utilities for their unit as long as they have physical access to the unit, except as approved by prior affirmative motion of the co-op's board of directors.
b. During unit transfers, the incoming member shall pay the monthly carrying charges and personal utilities for their unit beginning when the co-op turns over possession as stated in the transfer agreement.