In search of the foundations for a civil legal framework for cohousing. Comparative legal lessons for Flanders
PhD student: Mrs E.B.C. Verscheure
Promotors: A. De Boeck, Prof N. Carette
Duration: 1/9/2018 - 31/8/2024
Academic interest for cohousing is increasing because it is sometimes considered as a potential answer to a few contemporary societal challenges, including an increase of the population and the amount of households, as well as optimizing housing policy, urban planning, and environment. The aim of this research is to explore the foundations of a civil legal framework for cohousing. The central research question is: How can collaborative housing be constructed in civil law so that it can lead to a balanced protection of the rights, obligations and interests of the individual residents, the housing group, and creditors? Three phases are followed to answer this question. Firstly, I examine what cohousing exactly is from a legal perspective: which typologies exist and what the civil legal characteristics are. To conclude the first part, a normative definition of collaborative housing is formulated. Secondly, comparative legal research will be conducted for three countries (the Netherlands, France and Germany), since these countries have specific legal experience in the field of cohousing (top down approach). Thirdly, cohousing is examined by studying contracts or legal constructs from a certain number of projects in the three mentioned countries as well as Belgium (bottom up approach). The results of these three phases will provide the necessary insights to answer the central research question. The identified legal rights, obligations and interests will form the basis of a balanced consideration of interests for collaborative housing.