Memorandum of Understanding – Le Jardin Victor
1. The Owners of the property in Coulanges-sur-Yonne are Patrice and Brigitte. They are also founding members of the Association ASCA (for “Arts et Savoirs, Culture et Agriculture – arts and knowledges, culture and agriculture)
2. They offer the house for the project ‘Le Jardin Victor’, that is, for creating a community hub that serves the local community as well as offering a space for organisation that serve the common good (as specified in the founding documents of the association ASCA).
3. The Contributors, other people who join the project, are either organisations or individuals who have projects relevant to the aspirations of the project Le Jardin Victor, or are aspiring to contribute to this cause in significant ways. They are formally organised as the Association.
4. It is acknowledged that the people who join the project will enhance the value of the property (owned by Patrice and Brigitte) in some way.
5. In recognition of this, the owners, Brigitte and Patrice agree that they cannot sell the house or make significant changes in the arrangements within the property without the consent of the Association.
6. The owners or their representatives are obliged to attend the annual meeting of the Association and make their plans regarding the property known to the whole Association, taking place each year at the same time.
7. The project has no budget of itself. It has to be self-sustaining. Individuals who stay in the house need to pay 2 euros each day to contribute towards utilities. In order to cover food costs, each person pays 8 euros per day for home cooked, simple vegetarian meals. This can be waived if someone will cover their own food costs.
8. Organisations who use the building for their own purposes are requested to pay an annual contribution towards the upkeep of the project, as well as paying the daily fee (10 euro per person per day) for their memebers or participants, to cover utilities and food costs.
9. People who invest their time, skills and energy into creating this community hub from the house will be exempt from paying the annual contribution for their projects, but not exempt from paying the daily fees, 10 euros per day per person.
NB (Patrice): unclarity here: do ‘people’, i.e. individuals, also have to pay an annual contribution? If so, it pbly cannot be as high as is set for organisations
10. The daily fee needs to be paid by everyone staying in the house, including Owners and Contributors.
11. The house needs to be self-supporting financially, in terms of running costs.
12. The taxes (which are paid at the moment from the rent paid for the small house) becomes the responsibility of the Owners if and when the small house loses its current tenant and would remain unlet. Solutions to cover these costs need to be actively researched – the Association may be tax exempt, or find another way to cover this monthly cost.
13. The projects and contributors should take due considerations to the legal liability of the Owners regarding activities taking place in the property. They will refrain from any illegal action or from activities causing damage to the property. Given the very strict laws applying in France with regard to soft drugs (never mind hard ones) zero tolerance regarding their possession and use within the premises must be enforced.
14. The Owners and the Contributors both need to mutually recognise and respect the contributions of each other, and not discriminate or abuse against them.
14.a. The Community recognizes and is grateful to the owners for making the house available to the Community and for having invested substantial resources towards its rehabilitation for the use of the Community. The Community shall therefore always treat the owners with respect and in case of a different arising between them, both community and owners will seek an amicable resolution and avoid by all means an open conflict. Where this proves difficult or impossible to arrive at, a neutral third party mediator, who is agreable to both parties, should be involved.
The community recognizes that the owners are and remain the decision makers of last resort with regard to the status of the house in the
event of an irresoluble different or in case of force majeure.
15. The property is a project space – the Owners have no particular right to stay there just because it is their own property. The House Rule Book will specify the expected behavior in the house, and anyone not complying with it will be asked to leave, whether Owner or Contributor.
16. Principles of conduct (in progress)
– Communication: Please talk to the group (and not only to one person, the neighbours, or your family).
– Respect: Towards others and yourself. It is important that each member of the group focuses on the positive contributions others make, instead of taking a critical stance towards each other.
– Responsibility: you are part of a 4-member team. It is important that we can trust and count on each other. Please take everyone’s personal well-being, our shared work, the agreements and the need for co-operation seriously. If you feel you carry too much, or simply you are reaching your limits for any reason, please communicate with the group.
NB (Patrice): I feel this para needs to be rephrased in slightly less antagonistic terms, without diluting its substance, something like: ‘the owners will lay no particular claim to stay in the house if they are not participant or initiators of a project. The House Rule Book will specify the expected behavior in the house, and anyone, irrespective of status or position, not complying with it may be asked to leave. Refusing to comply will be treated as trespass.