Ridgeside Co-op

Membership Interview Questions

After introductions all around . . .


1.  (About You)  Please tell us a little bit about yourself/yourselves.

2.  (The Property)  Have you been shown around our buildings and grounds?

3.  (What You Bring)  A great many different types of skills and responsibilities are involved with operating a housing co-op, including monthly meeting facilitation, grass mowing/snow shoveling, taking meeting minutes, exterior painting, carpentry projects, bookkeeping, marketing vacancies, budgeting, building cement forms for a new basement wall, overseeing visits of a contractor or being available to accept materials deliveries, website design and maintenance, gardening, mortgage negotiation, maintaining co-op records, etc.  What skills and experiences do you think you will bring to the co-op and what tasks do you think you will be able to help with or would be especially interested in?

4.  (Our Governing Documents)  By now, you should have reviewed our major governing documents: our Bylaws, the Occupancy Agreement, and our House Rules--do you have any questions about these?

5.  (Organizational Structure)  Based on what you’ve learned about the co-op, do you feel you have a clear understanding of:

            * Our very limited equity formula?  (This is the first of three components key to our co-op’s longevity.)

            * Members’ legal relationship to the property?  (Especially how the individual co-op members do not own any of the co-op property, although we have home ownership tax advantages, which we see as the second of the three components essential to our co-op’s longevity.)

            * The organizational structure of our co-op?  (Especially how the board of directors, with formal representation from each apartment on it, is responsible for guiding all aspects of the co-op’s operation and for making all decisions regarding expenditures of co-op funds)

            * Members’ general and fiduciary responsibilities to the co-op?

6.  (Necessary Participation)  When you are a Ridge Side member, there are certain monthly participation requirements:

            *Are you willing and able to come to monthly co-op meetings that last approximately two hours and other special co-op meetings that arise occasionally?

            *Are you willing and able to devote ten hours per month from April through November and six hours per month from December through February doing regularly required co-op maintenance and possibly extra hours on special project work?  (This member labor is the third of the three components critical to our co-op’s longevity.)


7.  (Maintenance; Repairs)  Unlike an apartment complex, Ridge Side does not hire a property manager; instead, one member or two members together will be elected to be the co-op’s designated maintenance coordinator(s), helping to organize maintenance projects for us to work on throughout the year.  We do as much of the property upkeep as we can handle ourselves, with skilled work, such as plumbing and electrical work, naturally being contracted out to be done by professionals.

            According to our Occupancy Agreement, the co-op pays for repairs to the structural parts of the buildings and the mechanical systems (electricity, plumbing, heat, water, etc.), unless caused by abuse or neglect of a member.  Decoration within your apartment and small repairs typically done by a homeowner are the responsibility of each member, with wall paint and carpeting being considered to be the responsibility of the members of the apartment; choice of paint color is up to the member as long as you restore the paint at your own cost to a light, neutral pastel tone before you leave the co-op.

            Given this summary of our maintenance and repair policies, whose responsibility to make repairs do you consider the following problems to be:

            * Furnace outage?
            * Refrigerator outage?
            * Window broken by member’s guest?
            * Backed-up sewer?
            * Stopped-up toilet?
            * Worn carpet?

8.  (Lawn Care; Snow & Ice Control)  Are you willing and able to use either a power lawn mower or push lawn mower, as well as either a snow-blower or snow-shovel several times a season?

9.  (Possible Length of Tenure)  If you become a member, how long do you anticipate being able to stay?

10.  (The Inevitable Absences) From time to time members will go out of town, or might even have a work commitment develop that may interfere with their co-op responsibilities–how will you handle that situation?

11.  (Neighborly Interactions)  If your neighbor complains that you make a loud noise at night, how could you deal with this?

12. (Dogs; Smoking)  Our numerous, negative previous experience with dogs (and dog owners) have prompted the co-op to pass a house rule that dogs are not permitted to live at the co-op.  There is another house rule that smoking is not permitted inside any of the co-op apartments and common indoor areas.  Can you abide by these rules during your time in the co-op?

13.  (Your Questions)  Do you have any questions for us?

14.  (Credit Check)  After this interview, we will be running a credit check—if you have anything you would like to bring up, please speak with our treasurer.